Executive Director/ Director of Study Abroad
Yassine Echcherki is originally from Fez, Morocco. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing at Central Washington University and is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Structures of Data Analytics. In addition to speaking his native Arabic language, Yassine is fluent in French and English. He worked for the U.S. Peace Corps as an Arabic language instructor and culture trainer for Peace Corps Volunteers. Yassine has also facilitated cross-cultural and educational programs for several American organizations and volunteered as a teacher in a primary school in Citta Del Castelo, Italy. In 2010, Yassine was selected to participate in the U.S. State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Program at Montana State University. This prestigious program brings young leaders from North Africa and the Middle East to learn leadership skills and to study democracy, human rights, and conflict resolution. Yassine also volunteers and teaches English to Syrian refugees in the greater Seattle area while providing them with localization and life coach services. Yassine strongly believes that cross-cultural education and international learning opportunities are the key to promote peace and enhance good friendship.
Associate Director of Study Abroad
Louis Shannon has lived primarily in the southwestern United States of America. He has called Colorado, Arizona and California home, and now resides in the great state of Washington. Louis joined Morocco Off the Beaten Track in 2015 as the marketing coordinator because of his passion for sharing culture and drive to be part of an organization that has such a strong sense of purpose. Louis has worked in the hospitality industry for many years and has grown accustomed with social speaking, marketing, and organization. He is currently pursuing continued education in Architecture at Washington State University. Louis enjoys spending time outdoors, researching, cooking new recipes and meeting new people.
Evan Pugh first visited Morocco as part of a high school study abroad program. Subsequent study and work experiences as a Boren scholar and Fulbright researcher gave him wonderful opportunities to study Arabic, interview olive and almond farmers, and--of course--explore Morocco's beautiful and varied countryside! He loves how easy and rewarding travel is in Morocco. Mountainous coastlines, orchard-dotted heartlands, and rocky deserts are all an easy day trip apart. He is passionate about Moroccan history, language, and cuisine, and he always jumps at the opportunity to visit the Moroccan countryside.
Sara Beniounes is originally from Sefrou and currently lives in Marrakech. She holds a Master’s Degree in computer science and has experience in teaching professionally. She has been teaching computer science in high school since 2013. Sara is very involved in community service projects and is a member of Ataa Bila Hodoud Association where she organizes rock painting workshops. Sara loves to go off the beaten track and exploring the mountains. She has reached Mt.Toubkal (the second highest mountain after Kilimanjaro in Kenya, about 13671.26 feet) several times with her groups.
Hicham Elgatem is originally from a small Berber village near Marrakesh and currently based out of Rabat. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecotourism and Sustainable Development at Abdelmalek Essaadi Univerity and a Master’s Degree in Geotourism, Ecotourism, and Sustainable Development at Mohammed V University. In addition to speaking his native languages, Tamazight and Moroccan Arabic, Hicham is fluent in French and English. Hicham served as a CorpsAfrica volunteer in a small Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains where he led several community projects in education and agriculture. In 2018, He co-founded a social startup that aims to empower Moroccan artisans by promoting their artwork via an e-commerce platform. His passion for community development and sustainability attracted him to take part in the implementation of solar panels for a primary school in the High Atlas Mountains with Engineers Without Borders. Hicham believes that traveling is a great way to understand each other and build tolerance among communities.