San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, México



main page







El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

March, 2006 - Volume 1. No. 1

Our Mission: To protect and preserve our natural heritage while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquility.

This newsletter is a new communications initiative of the Botanical Garden. The main purpose of the newsletter is to inform members, donors and other organizations about what is happening in the garden and the organization. We want to keep you informed about tours, programs, services, issues, changes and successes. Our plan is to send it to you regularly by e-mail. Your comments and feedback will be welcome and we will endeavour to answer your questions promptly.


El Charco now has a beautiful full color Membership and Donation brochure. This is the fulfilment of several months work by staff and volunteers and we hope that it will develop greater awareness of the garden and build a positive profile. It includes the new mission statement “To protect and preserve our natural heritage while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquillity for all.”

Copies are available at the garden and by contacting us by e-mail at charcodelingenio@gmail.com. We hope you will use it to recruit more friends for El Charco.


El Charco has seen memberships increase by more than 100 in the last year to 255. This is in part due to activities to improve our public profile and get our message out, new volunteer initiatives and improvements in the garden. We want to continue to increase memberships but also retain our long time members. Letters to lapsed members and this newsletter are ways we hope to improve communications with you and retain your support.


Due to the initiative and hard work of Bob Haas, El Charco held its first successful major fundraising event in the garden on February 19th 2006 . More than 150 people attended, paying $75 US to sip champagne, mimosas and bloodies and nibble on bagels with lox and cream cheese and Danish catered by Patsy DuBois. Great jazz was provided by the Bobby Kaplan Trio during the event which lasted from noon till 4 pm. Barbara Porter Collections sponsored a fashion show of some of her beautifully designed clothes which everyone enjoyed. AS Master of Ceremonies, Bob Haas introduced the Director of El Charco Cesar Arias and also gave away door prizes. Staff and volunteers assisted with the event and a good time was had by all. The event raised $12,000 US El Charco which will be used to assist with expenses for some new initiatives such as the new headquarters, the planting of a tree barrier and restoration of the wetlands. Thank you to all the sponsors, donors and those who attended for making this a successful and fun event.


For several months El Charco has been conducting guided tours of the garden that includes the conservatory, wetland and canyon. These tours are 2 hours long and begin at 9 am every Tuesday. Your guide is Mario Mendoza, the knowledgeable Vice-Director of the garden. The tour is conducted in English but Mario can also explain in Spanish. The cost is 80 pesos for non-members and 50 pesos for members. It is a very informative and interesting tour and we encourage members and their visitors to take advantage of it and learn more about the garden and its programs. Plus you are able to visit the nursery which is not open to the public. Please reserve a space by calling MARIO at 0444151010338 or e-mail charcodelingenio@gmail.com. We suggest that if you do not drive that you take a taxi at a cost of 30-40 pesos as it is an uphill walk.


We want to thank our current volunteers for the wonderful assistance they have been providing in cleaning trees, helping with garden duties, working events, and much more.


There are many opportunities and ways for you to get involved with the Botanical Garden – you can become a tour guide, give a workshop, help with maintenance of the garden or at events, do PR work – just to name a few. Offer your own suggestions as well! Parque Landeta, next to the garden, also has exciting projects going on and offers more chances to get involved in outdoor activities that benefit the whole community. For more information, contact VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR – Naomi Zerriffi at nzerriffi@yahool.com or call 152 1829.


Please mark your calendars.

March 3, 2006 – National Botanical Garden Day

This is the first time this event has been held in Mexico . Show support and visit El Charco del Ingenio, San Miguel’s own wonderful botanical garden sometime this week. There was a special education program for school children held at El Charco in recognition of the day.

March 10 – 8 pm & March 12 – 10 am , 2006 – Temazcal

Temazcal is an Indian sweat lodge that benefits circulation, relaxes muscles, stimulates respiration and helps with weight loss. It is open to males and females. Bring bathing suits and towels. Cost 200 pesos. Please reserve as space is limited by calling 154 4715 or 154 8838 or Cell o14431033019.

March 14, 2006 – Full Moon Ceremony

Meet at the Four Winds Plaza in the Garden – go left after you come through the entrance toward the cross. Time – 7 pm - Donation 30 pesos

March 20, 2006 – Equinox Celebration in the Botanical Garden

As is customary every year, El Charco celebrates this festival of the Sun, offering music to the flourishing Earth.

A special concert will be performed by Capella Guanajuatense, an Early Music ensemble from the City of Guanajuato . This concert, dedicated to our precious water, will take place at the canyon’s natural amphitheatre –sculpted by millennia of flowing water – at 4.30 pm .

Admission: 80 pesos, 50 pesos for members. To avoid line ups tickets will be sold in the Jardin and at the front entrance of the garden, a few days before the event.

The concert last year was very successful and the setting is magnificent – so bring your friends, and a cushion.

Prior to the concert everybody is invited to attend the “H20 San Miguel” roundtable, organized by local NGO’s, in which the water issue in our community will be freely discussed by participants. This event, simultaneous to many others happening in Mexico during the UN Water World Forum March 16-22, will take place at 12 noon, at the Dome of the Four Winds Plaza. Admission is free. It will be in Spanish only.

After the roundtable and before the concert, at 4 pm a simple ceremony, also dedicated to water will take place at the Four Winds Plaza , conducted by the drums of the pame-otomi tradition.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Please let us know if you like the newsletter and find it useful. E-mail your comments, questions or concerns to the Editor, Jaci Winters, at charcodelingenio@gmail.com