San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, México



main page







El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

November, 2006 - Volume 1, No. 9

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. Please tell your friends and prospective members/supporters how to access the newsletter and help broaden the base of support for the Botanical Garden.

Inauguration November 2

We invite all members, friends and supporters of the Charco to join us in an inauguration cocktail on Thursday, November 2 at 5:00p.m. at the main entrance of the garden.  You can also admire the traditional Day of the Dead altar, assembled by Hermes Arroyo, dedicated to Toni de Gerez, dear friend and enthusiastic supporter of the Botanical Garden.  During the ceremony, we will be presenting the bilingual book, “20 Trees of El Charco del Ingenio”, published by the Botanical Garden with a grant from Botanic Gardens Conservation International. It is on sale at the reception (50 pesos).

tienda exterior

tienda interior


Recently published, this guide with photos by Richard Cretcher is an extraordinary contribution to the knowledge and conservation of the wildflowers of this region.  It is also on sale at the reception (150pesos).  In October 23 people participated in a walk in the garden identifying the wildflowers using this book as a guide.

walking tour


This month we have the opportunity to learn about propagating cacti from Martin Smith, curator of the Botanical Garden who has recently returned to San Miguel from his native England. 

This session will demonstrate different techniques of propagation of succulents and will take place in the nursery at the botanical garden on November 16th at 9:30a.m.  Cost is 100 pesos for non-members and 70 for members. Please reserve by contacting Naomi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com.






Starting January 1, 2007 access for dogs in all of El Charco and the Botanical Garden will strictly be prohibited.  Access will be permitted in most of Parque Landeta with the exception of the north and south banks of the presa where waterfowl can be injured.  The Board has taken this decision due to the increasing importance of the El Charco del Ingenio as a refuge for local wildlife and as a conservation area for endangered plants.  The daily presence of dogs in this area – even under control of the owners – inhibits the establishment and reproduction of various species and represents a direct menace to flora and fauna.  Attacks by dogs causing the death of waterfowl and small mammals are becoming more common. This difficult measure will no doubt cause controversy, but we are convinced of its necessity and thank members and users of this conservation area for your comprehension and support.

areas for dogs
Dogs not allowed in the parts colored grey;
they are welcome in Parque Landeta except on the banks of the Presa.

INVENTORY OF MAMMALS EN EL CHARCO: Speaking of local wildlife….During the month of November we will start an intensive study to understand with better precision the species of mammals that live in the conservation area.  This study will be led by Roberto Aviña, experimental biologist in charge for many years of the conservation project in the Sierra de Santa Rosa, Guanajuato.  We are making an appeal to our supporters for assistance with the cost of this study.  Please contact Cesar Arias (charcodelingenio@gmail.com) or Naomi (nzerriffi@yahoo.com) for more details.


The guided tours of the garden includes the conservatory, wetland and canyon. These tours are 2 hours long and begin at 9 am every Tuesday. For the next four months, your guide is Martin Smith, curator of plants. The tour is conducted in English but Martin 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 the reception at 154-8838  or e-mail charcodelingenio@gmail.com. We suggest that if you do not drive, you take a taxi at a cost of 30-40 pesos as it is an uphill walk.







Mario Mendoza, Vice-Director of the garden and Martin Smith, curator of plants, represented El Charco at an annual meeting of the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens the last week of October. People from more than 60 botanical gardens throughout Mexico met in Xalapa, Veracruz to define local strategies from the Global Agenda of Conservation of Botanical Gardens, spaces that act worldwide as guardians of regional biodiversity.



Birds of Mexico

Manuel Grosselet, French ornithologist and photographer who has been studying and documenting the numerous species of birds in Mexico, will present his photos November 7th at 7:00p.m. at Recreo 4, El Recreo Espacio Cultural.  Before the official opening of his show, Grosselet will give an introductory talk.  Manuel Grosselet is a friend and strong supporter of El Charco.

Sunday, November 5 at sunset

We invite everyone to this open celebration that has been taking place for many years during the full moon cycle at the Four Winds Plaza in the Botanical Garden. This month Linda Vandiver will be leading the ceremony since Alicia Mayo is traveling.  It’s worth arriving a little early to admire the setting of the sun and the appearance of the moon over the mountains.  We recommend bringing a coat and a musical instrument if you wish. Admission is 30pesos, free for members.


Temascal is an Indian ritual 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. It takes place in the ruins of an old hacienda inside the botanical garden on the other side of the presa.  Cost 250 pesos. Limited space so please call for more details and to reserve a space - 154 8838 or cell 014431033019 or at the reception area of the garden.



Friday November 3, 8:00p.m. and Sunday November 5 at 10:00a.m. Limited space. Reservations at 154-8838, cellular 01-443-103-3019 or at the Botanical Garden office.

VOLUNTEERING – You can make a difference

please contact Naomi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com or 152 1829.

E-mail any comments or questions to the Editor, Jaci Winters at charcodelingenio@gmail.com