Member Expedition Sponsorship Series: Bringing Relief to Morocco

Member Expedition Sponsorship Series: Bringing Relief to Morocco
When an earthquake hit Morocco, aid organizations poured into Marrakech. But on the southern side of Morocco, no help was coming. Test Pilot Zach Wooline, an ex-pat who lives in Morocco, gathered a team and headed out with nothing but tools, a crew and a desire to help those in need.

He reached out through our Member Expedition Sponsorship in need of sun-protective gear for long days in the heat rebuilding and doing recon in villages. After equipping them with Adapt UPF Shirts & caps, we asked them to stay safe and send us a Field Report when they could. Here's that intel.
Bringing Relief to Morocco
By Zach Wooline

I’m the lead coordinator of relief efforts on the southern side of the Atlas Mountains. After the earthquake all media coverage and almost all international aid orgs poured into Marrakech. And of course it made sense: ‘Kech is close to the action of the northern side of the Altas….and tourism, etc existed on on that side. But the southern side….zero tourism or nearby cities. We live in Agadir where we own an Airbnb and an export company. There is a small community of ex-pats in Agadir who decided to jump in and help. We are 3 hours away from the affected villages…but we are still the closest. We had no idea what we were doing…but because of our proximity we somehow have become the main effort still helping the southern face of the Atlas. Ive got 5-6 coordinators I work with…and a broader community “beneath” that. We were up in the villages less than 24 hours of the quake…and we’ve had some type of presence up there almost every day since.

Bringing Relief to Morocco
Initially we helped with immediate needs. But as time we by we shifted focus to longer term needs: Sanitation and Shelter. We’ve put in about 100 toilets and have facilitated another 200 at this point. Our primary focus at the moment is insulated, winter-ready shelters. These are what you see in the photos…the quonset hut-type structures. Our goal is to build 250 of them. At the moment we are nearing 100 completed. Snow is on the way….we are focusing on the villages above the snow line first and working our way down. But we aren’t sure when (or if) we will get snowed out. So we’re going as fast as we can. We’ve got some international aid orgs helping on the funding side. And we are working with locals as much as possible on the building side.

Because we live 3 hours away, we usually camp up in the villages during the initial days of a build. Incredible up there at night!

Anyway…’s incredibly fulfilling to literally be providing a home for a family in about 35 minutes per shelter. They know the snow is coming….it's amazing how thankful they are.
Bringing Relief to Morocco


  • Ruben Ruckman

    Zach, thank you for sharing your experience of stepping up for your community. Super inspiring story, and so great that Florence is there to support your efforts. Keep the updates coming, and keep up the great work!

  • Zack Woolwine

    Thank you for the gear Florence Marine X! So rad how quickly you guys jumped on board. Both the UPF shirts and the hats have been awesome. There will be some Florence Marine X gear floating around up in the mountains of Morocco for years to come. Keep up the good work and again thank you very much! Stoked to see what you guys cook up next. Maybe a 3 layer waterproof hardshell?

  • Bri

    What an amazing read. Way to go guys. Keep up the great work. I’m inspired.

  • Craig Yester
    Zach is an Amazing Man, Leader. I had the privilege of going to Tonga on a mission trip, where we meet up with Zach and his Ohana. In Tonga, we built a full/proper home and did projects with the youth. So Awesome to work with someone who puts others needs above their own. Great Teamwork, 🚩 Florence strikes again.

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