San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, México



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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

August, 2007 - Volume 2, No. 8

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.



Richard Cretcher, author of the book, Flores Silvestres, a pocket guide to the wildflowers of San Miguel, will be offering walks in the botanical garden and Parque Landeta using this book to identify the multitude of gorgeous flowers blooming at this time of year. 

The dates are August 8, 22 and September 12, 26.  They will start at 9:30a.m. and last about 2 hours. Cost is 70 pesos for members and 100 for non-members of El Charco. All proceeds will go to the botanical garden.

Please reserve a space by emailing nzerriffi@yahoo.com specifying the day you would like to attend.


And while you’re in the garden during the rainy season, be sure to walk to the dam and the canyon area where, especially right after a good downpour, you might think you were at Niagara Falls!!

(More fotos at the end of this newsletter)


Visit an Ecological Ranch, Tuesday August 7th

luis brito   This month we have the privilege of visiting the ranch in Los Galvanes where many products are made that we sell at our store at the botanical garden - soaps, lotions and creams, shampoos and more.  Luis Brito, an ex-Jesuit priest, and his wife moved to this community over 30 years ago.  They built an adobe house, use solar energy for electricity and methane for the gas stove and grow the plants they need to make the natural products they offer.

Since it is a little difficult finding the ranch, we will meet at the parking lot at the Aurora Factory and leave from there at 9:15a.m. sharp, following Mario Mendoza, vice-director of the botanical garden.

Cost is 70 pesos for garden members and 100 pesos for non-members. Exact change is appreciated. Please reserve a space at nzerriffi@yahoo.com

August 18th, 9:30a.m.

This bilingual audiovisual course will be given by  Enrique Caldera Munoz, engineer graduate of the National Polytechnical Institute, and director of GAIA (Grupo de Acción Interdisciplinaria Ambiental AC).  Enrique Caldera is a resident of San Miguel and was head of the Wind and Solar Energy Latin American Organization (OLADE) and is currently President of the National Association of Solar Energy.  The conference will be held in the library at the botanical garden.  Cost is 100 pesos, 70 pesos for El Charco members.  Email charcodelingenio@gmail.com for reservations.


With the enthusiastic and productive participation of many children and young people, and the energetic leaders, the summer camps are wrapping their activities early August. In the Science Camp, the children used their natural curiosity to explore nature around El Charco, observing and identifying animals, their habitats and learned about their adaptation and behavior as an integral part of their environment. A second camp focused more on physical and recreational activities such as exploring the reserve and rappelling in the canyon.  Lastly, the children’s summer program of the Biblioteca Publica included several days in July and August in Parque Landeta enjoying recreational activities there as well.  



Congratulations to all for a fun summer and welcome to all, as always, at El Charco.



As always since July 1991, this celebration took place commemorating the founding of the Botanical Garden which rescued this magnificent canyon, not only as an ecological preservation zone but also as a ritual space for the indigenous communities of San Miguel around the historical image of the cross. Each year the solemn commitment to take care of and defend this community territory is renewed through traditional ceremonies and sanctifying the four cardinal corners. This year, for the first time, this route also took place in Parque Landeta where new stations of the cross where blessed to take care of this park as an ecological zone for the city and as a ritual space for the Santa Cruz communities.


Inventory of Spontaneous Flora in El Charco del Ingenio, by Walter L. Meagher, published in Spanish, edited by el Instituto de Ecología AC, de Pátzcuaro Michoacán,  as part of a series entitled “Flora del Bajío y Regiones Adyacente” (Flora of the Bajio and Adjacent Regions). 50 pesos.

Flores Silvestres de San Miguel de Allende, by Richard Cretcher.  Bilingual pocket guide with photos by the author for identifying local wildflowers. 150 pesos.

20 Trees of El Charco del Ingenio:  bilingual with photos, published by the Botanical Garden. 60 pesos.

20 Succulents of El Charco del Ingenio:  bilingual with photos, published by the Botanical Garden. 60 pesos.

Tuesday, August 28th 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 it will take place on August 28.  

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

Friday Aug 3, at 8 pm & Sunday Aug 5, at 10 am

Friday, Aug 28th at 8pm & Sunday, Aug 30th at 10am

This relaxing steam bath is a ritual of healing and purification and is available every month for both men and women. Bring bathing suits and towels. It takes place in the ruins of an old hacienda, under the moonlight, across the dam from El Charco’s reception area. The mixture of heat, humidity and scented plants and herbs is a purifying experience for mind and spirit. Its benefits are many; as it activates blood circulation, increases natural body defenses, eliminates odors, relaxes muscles, helps keep the nervous system in good shape, stimulates breathing and is excellent for weight loss. 250 pesos, space is limited so please call for reservations or information 154 88 38, 154 4715, cell 01 443 10 3 3019 or in El Charco’s main office.


temazcal exterior

temazcal interior


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