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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

June, 2009 - Volume IV, No. 6

OUR MISSION: To protect and preserve our natural heritage and help build an environmental culture while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquility for all.

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

World Environment Day activities - Friday, June 5

Temazcal - Friday June 5 and Sunday June 7

Full Moon Ceremony - Sunday June 7

Garden Lecture Series, Soil Microbiology - June 26

Summer Camp at El Charco - July

Yoga at El Charco - Mondays and Wednesdays

Guided Tours - Tuesdays and Thursdays


World Environment Day: Friday, June 5

This year, as every year on this date, the Botanical Garden will sponsor a day of planting trees native to the region with the support of the Environmental Education Program of San Miguel de Allende (PEASMA) and the participation of students from various schools in the municipality. The planting will take place the in the new bird-watching area of the Presa las Colonias.

Also during the month of June - on Monday the 22nd - together with PEASMA and with the economic support of Reforestemos México, we will plant 600 specimens of Cucharilla o Chimal (Dasylirion Acrotriche) in the northern part of El Charco. Cucharilla is a succulent species native to the region, traditionally used by local communities for ritual altars and in danger of extinction.



Shuttle Service between El Charco and downtown San Miguel:
T.T. Turísticos Dandy

Finally, after many efforts, we have a shuttle service to provide visitors with round-trip transportation to and from the Botanical Garden from the historical center of San Miguel. It is a small bus with capacity of 17 passengers that will provide service every day, every two hours, leaving from the corner of Juárez and San Francisco, in front of the church. The cost is 20 pesos per person per trip, 40 pesos for round-trip. The schedule follows:

From downtown to Jardín Botánico

From Jardín Botánico to downtown



9:30 am

11:00 am

11:30 am

1:00 pm

1:30 pm

3:00 pm

3:30 pm

5:00 pm

van service


Soriana’s  Sales Supports Environmental Education 

During June and July 2009, the Soriana supermarket will raise funds for the Environmental Education Project in San Miguel de Allende (PEASMA).  So, your purchases from Soriana in June and July will help fund environmental education in San Miguel. When the clerk there asks if you want to donate your change, say yes.  PEASMA’s programs are collaborative ventures of Save the Children, the Garden Club, the Audubon Society, Save the Laja, the Botanical Garden, Reforesting Mexico, CASA, the city’s ecology department, and the state’s ecology institute.




Garden Lecture series. June 26, at 10 a.m.

Audiovisual presentation
by Doug Weatherbee

On June 26 at 10:00am Doug Weatherbee, who owns an organic food growing design and consulting business in San Miguel de Allende, will make an audio visual presentation on soil microbiology at the Botanical Garden. 

He will talk about how soils are more than just clay, silt and sand mixed with a bit of organic material. Healthy soils are alive with incredible biological diversity. What do San Miguel's soils look like from a microbiological perspective, and how might we begin to bring vibrant life back to these soils?

  doug weatherbee

Doug works with small to large land owners to establish organic land management systems for growing plants of all kinds without the use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and reduced irrigation. Doug does this by creating balanced soil microbiology ecosystems. Soils near San Miguel de Allende are typically alkaline, nitrate savanna desert soil ecosystems that are great for growing certain plants but not others. Many human practices such as the use of inorganic fertilizers, fungicides, tilling, deforestation, overgrazing and burning, degrade these soils by killing microbes.

Nature, if left undisturbed, has ways to regenerate degraded soil ecosystems, albeit over long periods of time. Doug's work involves speeding up some of nature's regenerative methods by amending the soil's microbiology, thereby expanding the range of plants that can be grown. In doing this work, Doug draws on the pioneering organic growing techniques of Dr. Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb Inc., and her Oregon State University research program. Dr. Ingham is regarded as one of the world's leading applied soil microbiologists in regenerative agriculture.

Doug is currently working with Dr. Elaine Ingham to become a Certified Soil Foodweb Advisor. He has worked with and studied watershed restoration with Craig Stonholtz of Dryland Solutions in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he learned Bill Zeedyck's Induced Meandering river restoration techniques. He is a Certified Permaculture Designer and Teacher, having studied with one of the world's leading Permaculturalists, Geoff Lawton, of the Permaculture Research Institute in Australia. Reserve a space at 70 pesos for members of El Charco and 100 pesos for non-members.


Summer Camp at El Charco

curso verano

As in 2008, the July summer camp will have an artistic and recreational focus for most of its activities and workshops:  working with plants in the nursery, recycled paper, temascal, rock-climbing, rappelling, trekking, making mojigangas, horseback riding and more. All activities will be under the guidance of 2 trained leaders, Hermes Arroyo and Jesus Bautista.  Accept the challenge and experience the adventure in an extraordinary natural environment.
Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm.

Boys and girls from 6 to 15 years old.
Cost: $2,200 pesos
More information at the Visitor's Center of El Charco del Ingenio,
or call 154 8838, 044 415 113 59 09 or 044 415 112 74 82




French volunteer at El Charco

During the month of May, thanks ot the ongoing support of Mexico Limpio A.C., we enjoyed the presence and support of Françoise Detours, a volunteer from France. He came for a two-week stay, but decided to stay longer in order to continue to work at the Botanical Garden.

Thank you Françoise!


Yoga “Desde el corazón” (from the Heart)
in el  Charco del Ingenio

Starting June 1st - call

Cost 100 pesos per class, Mon & Wed 10-11:15
Monthly package (8 classes)  680 pesos
For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Juan Manuel:
Tel 154-4715.

Need to bring yoga mat and blanket
Boveda at the Botanical Garden

Enjoy a wonderful yoga experience in a perfect setting.  Those who are familiar with this ecological site know that the experience starts at the entrance, its beauty immediately filling our senses.  The harmony, silence, peace, clean air, plants and animals make this place a fountain of inspiration in which to practice yoga in San Miguel.  El Charco del Ingenio offers a perfect mix that invites our senses to open up to the natural beauty around us and within us.

Ximena Velasco has practised yoga for 11 years and for the last 10 years has shared her passion for this philosphy-discipline through her classes.  She has studied in various countries such as France; Italy, India, Nepal, Australia, Mexico and the US among others.  She has explored various yoga techniques such as Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, y Vinyasa.  Her passion to understand the human body has led her to investigate other techniques of movement, meditation and alternative medicine to bring the necessary tools that her students need. Ximena teaches in several places in San Miguel.

Yoga, as other ancient philosophy-disciplines in the world, is inspired by nature, learning to observe, hear, feel and imitate.  This work allows us to observe, hear and feel ourselves, connecting us to our inner nature. If you are a lover of nature and yoga, this is a worthwhile experience whether you are a resident or visitor.



Guided Tours in English

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10a.m.-12:30p.m.
A hat, water and good walking shoes are recommended. 50 pesos for members and 80 pesos for non-members. Private tours are also available for 150 pesos per person (minimum 5 persons). Reservations are not necessary.


Friday June 5, at 8 pm,
Sunday June 7, at 10 am

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: 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



Sunday June 7 at sunset (8 p.m.)

luna llena


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.

We celebrate the Full Moon Ceremony to come back into balance with nature on earth. Come and enthusiastically participate and dedicate your intention and energies at the Plaza of the Four Winds.  Bonfire, incense, chanting, drumming included.  Bring flutes, cymbals, a drum or any other instrument if you want.  

It’s worth arriving a little early to admire the setting of the sun and the appearance of the moon over the mountains. You may want to bring a coat for cool evenings.  Admission is 30 pesos, free for members. Children welcome. Any questions, call Alicia Mayo at 152 -0376.


You can make a difference

And you can make a difference with your contribution - volunteer or donate. We appreciate your support!! Please contact Naomi at

E-mail any comments or questions to the Editor at


“Botanical Gardens are not just places for conserving and displaying plants.  At the dawn of the new millennium, they are main actors in the defense and protection of the planet’s biodiversity, with a growing focus on the regional – thinking globally and acting locally.  And they are also builders of a new environmental culture for the societies that inhabit the Earth.” 




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