‘The World Upside Down’: The Rise of Spanish Immigration to Morocco

Omar, a 19-year-old Moroccan, repositions a Moroccan flag in the border area separating Spain from Morocco in Nador, northern Morocco, Aug. 18, 2010.
Reuters/Jon Nazca


Christian Science Monitor


By , Contributor / March 21, 2013 at 9:52 am EDT

Tangier, Morocco
Marcos Martinez Bacelo does not know when he will be able to go home.It’s been six months since the 36-year-old mechanic came here from his hometown of Vigo, Spain to work as a mechanic. As he runs calloused fingers through his short black hair, peppered with gray, he lays out his circumstances: A year ago, he lost his job at an electric company in his home country. He eventually found another, but only six months later he faced a layoff at his new job. That’s when he decided to leave his wife and two young children in Spain and strike out for Morocco, where yet another job was waiting.“The most difficult part about living here is not having my family by my side,” says Mr. Martinez, gazing at photos of his children, Soraya, 10, and Nicolas, 3.

For generations, Moroccans have immigrated to Europe for work but now, in a surprising illustration of Europe’s economic crisis, that trend is reversing –Europeans are coming to Morocco in search of jobs.

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