San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, México



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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

May, 2007 - Volume 2, No. 5

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.


You know it’s April when you go between dog days and north winds which bring a hint of the rains to come. This April El Charco had an unusually high influx of tourists during Easter vacation week and even during the following days. Many residents who are used to spending the winter in San Miguel and enjoy El Charco during their stay, have now left, as have the migratory birds, to return to summer in the north. The intensely green foliage of the huizaches and mesquites stand out against the dry background, while the cacti and succulents open their colorful flowers in the burning sun, preparing their fruits for the rainy season.  Ah yes, the month of April…


earth day 2007

With double the participation of last year, this day was celebrated with a clean up of Parque Landeta and the exterior areas of El Charco del Ingenio.  Jointly organized by the Botanical Garden, FAI (Save the Children) and PEASMA (Programa de Educación Ambiental de San Miguel de Allende), with the support of the local government, this community work took place on Saturday, April 21st.  Around 350 people of all social groups, mostly children and teenagers, started early collecting garbage, which by the end of the morning resulted in over a ton being removed from the area.  The organizers were highly satisfied not only with the visual affect in the cleaned up area, but also for the shared awareness that it is possible to confront our environmental problems and resolve them effectively.


Many people have been wondering what is going on next to the reception area.  This construction will be a space where members and visitors, after a wonderful stroll in the garden, can enjoy some juices, shakes, fruit waters, soft drinks, as well as coffee, tea and herbal drinks of high quality. There will also be seasonal natural products and some light food for the hungrier ones. We have no doubt this juice bar will be a big hit and an additional service for our visitors.  We hope to have it operational by June.


The Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens, of which El Charco is a member, has established May 26th as the day of this celebration. It’s an excellent opportunity to bring to everyone’s attention the role that these spaces play in the conservation of biodiversity, which includes research and environmental education programs.  In the framework of this celebration, the director of the Botanical Garden, Cesar Arias, will give a talk on the Ecological Preservation Zone of the Charco del Ingenio, offering information about its operation and restrictions, based on the declaration issued by the municipal authorities.  This will take place Friday, May 25th at 7:00p.m. in El Recreo, cultural space, Recreo 4.  Admission is free. The talk will be in Spanish.



After several years of hard, uninterrupted work, this program, originated by FAI (Save the Children), continues to build goodwill and sow consciousness about the environment among primary school children in San Miguel.


This program, under the excellent guidance of Eugenia Velasco and Natalia Ortega, has succeeded in coordinating the efforts of such NGOs as FAI, CASA, Save the Laja, the Botanical Garden as well as SAPASMA and the Ecology Department of San Miguel, achieving tangible results. Their model has been recognized and adopted by the State of Guanajuato to be applied in other municipalities. We invite you to watch a short video of this program (a part of which takes place in El Charco), easily accessible by internet: click here.


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 it will take place on June 1st.  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


full moon


June 1st, 8 pm and
June 3rd 10 am



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 01-443-103-3019 or at the reception area of the garden



A group of young people from Belgium and France have been working in the area of the old hacienda rebuilding the dry toilets for the visitors to the Temascal.  Many thanks!

A heartfelt thanks to Elizabeth Dunn, a volunteer from England, for all her support and assistance during the last few months, especially in the reception area.  Many thanks! We recommend you read Elizabeth’s article which appeared in the last issue of Atencion (April 27th, pg 36) about the Temascal in El Charco.


Sign-in Book:  In March we initiated this request to members to sign in at Reception with your name, date and number of people in your group.  This information, as well as the guest sign-in book, help us improve our services to our members and visitors. Thank you for your cooperation.

Membership Renewal:  When renewing your membership at Border Crossings or at the Reception area, please ask for a renewal form. This helps us maintain current lists with proper email addresses, etc.  We want to remind you of the new option of having a membership for more than one year.

User Survey:  This brief and simple form is available at Reception in both English and Spanish and we ask our visitors and members to fill one out please. We are interested in knowing who, when and why people visit El Charco so we can offer better services, improve our programs, etc.   This is also an opportunity to give us your comments and suggestions.

You can make a difference

And you can make a difference with your donations. We appreciate your support!! Please contact Naomi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com

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