Mules have been the unsung heroes, the silent strength behind many ventures around the world since ancient times.
Their resilience, stamina and sure footedness have allowed people to live, work, build, travel, thrive and explore in some of the most remote and challenging regions of the globe.
As such, it is no surprise that they have recently become the go-to pack animal for a blossoming trekking industry in the spectacular Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Thirty years ago there were only a handful of mules in the area, used for agriculture and domestic tasks by the native Berber people. Now, with the arrival of thousands of trekkers seeking to explore the jagged mountains, maybe even summit Jbel Toubkal, nearly every family has a mule.
Having to care for pack mules is a relatively recent concern in the villages of the Atlas Mountains, there is no tradition dictating the correct way to do things, and the trekking tourism industry has grown there at speed. In addition, muleteers (the men who look after the mules) are generally low paid and low status in the community.
Pukka Projects parent company Far Frontiers Expeditions runs several treks to the Atlas Mountains every year. We know that it is our responsibility to look after our whole trekking team. We are proud to be leading the way in the industry towards a future where all Atlas Mountain pack mules are happy and healthy. Read on to find out how we are helping Morocco’s mules with our Working Mule Care Initiative.