July 2010 - Volume V, No. 7
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.
Each year this traditional and colorful festival takes place as close as possible to our anniversary date, July 11th and this year the date actually coincides with the original one. The festival is a time to unite the diverse sectors of the population, rescuing the local traditions and offering a cultural exchange to the participants.
El Charco was rescued not only as a natural area but also as a ritual space for the indigenous communities of San Miguel using the Cross as an image which goes back to the conquest wars of the 16th century and the founding of our City. In this way, El Charco del Ingenio is a sanctified land for the communities of the Santa Cruz, urban as well as rural, who attend the annual fiesta. During the festival there is the ceremony of the Four Winds as well as a walk to the four cardinal points of the Botanical Garden where the protective shrines are located. The journey ends in Parque Landeta where the Cross is installed and the fiesta continues throughout the day with various activities including dancing and music, this year provided by Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichu.
As we do each year, the Botanical Garden will offer a summer camp for children between 6 and 13 years old from the 12th to the 30th of July and will be led by Hermes Arroyo and Jesus Bautista along with other qualified personnel. Without a doubt, El Charco is an ideal place for children to be during the summer vacation where they can have fun and be sensitized to nature at the same time. The course will have various activities such as rock climbing, navigation and knots, swimming, music and yoga, among others.
For more information or to register: 154.47.15 | email@example.com
ADVANCES IN THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN AND RAINWATER CISTERN
Dreams are becoming a reality in the interactive Jardin de la Tierra. The Panoramic Observatory module is almost finished and consists of large rocks which the children can climb up and they can descend via a slide.
The rainwater cistern, which will have a capacity of about 500m3, is also progressing. The over exploitation of the aquifer by wells has reduced the availability of this vital liquid to the point of being a scarce resource. The new cistern, funded by Save the Laja Foundation, will allow us to irrigate more of the Garden during the dry season and is vital to the future development of the Garden.
EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO IN IRELAND
Mario Hernandez, Director of the Botanical Garden, attended the 4th Global Congress about Botanical Gardens, organized by Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI), celebrated in Dublin this past June. The central theme of the Congress was “Addressing Global Change: a new agenda for botanic gardens.” Botanical Gardens have an important role to play in the rescue and conservation of biological diversity and their collections and knowledge should be used to sensitize people to the value of our natural resources as necessary elements for human existence.
During the Congress, Mario had the opportunity to talk about El Charco’s conservation efforts as well as its environmental education programs, and its role in the community. He was successful in establishing various contacts with people from other countries with a view to having exchanges and joint projects.
EL CHARCO'S LIBRARY
EL CHARCO 20 years ago
In 1990 work started on the botanical garden in El Charco del Ingenio through the initiative of a group of both native and adoptive San Miguelenses who decided to start this ecological, cultural and touristic project in our City. The pictures show the beginnings of this initiative. There is the metal structure of the Conservatory of Mexican Plants, designed by Enrique Pliego, architect and landscaper of UNAM, which was turned into reality by Arturo Estrada, ironworker from Valle del Maiz.
Also, you can see the first collections of plants in the Conservatory and how it looks today, 20 years later.
Another image shows the construction of the Plaza of the Four Winds, a ceremonial and panoramic space, also designed by Enrique Pliego and built by Jorge Estrada, master in construction from Valle del Maiz.
There are also some images of the opening and the first Fiesta of the Santa Cruz during the solar eclipse in 1991 with Dona Soledad Centeno leading the first walk on the grounds of the Botanical Garden. It’s been a while since then ...
Resulta interesante observar las imágenes de aquellos días. Si usted cuenta con fotos antiguas de El Charco que desee compartir, contáctenos, ya sabe cómo.
The classes will take place during the month of July. For Watercolor I, we already have a waiting list. For the Landscaps in Watercolor course there are still spaces availalbe. We welcome the instructors from the Botanical Garden of Denver, Colorado, who will soon arrive in San Miguel.
For more information or to register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Word is out and these classes have become very popular. We suggest registering early since class size is limited to only 14 people.
In September we’ll be offering Composing Compelling Artwork and Flower Portraits in Pencil and Color and in December Focus on Form and Hand-Made Journals & Hand Lettering.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION: VIA ORGANICA
El Charco is interested in creating networks with other organizations in our municipality and one that was recently formed is with Via Organica which has been established in San Miguel for a few years. This organization has been offering expertise and training in the area of cultivating healthy food for oneself. Their intent is to help improve nutrition and re-establish a contact with nature. El Charco supports this effort.
Via Organica currently has a space in the municipal greenhouse in Parque Landeta offering vegetables and compost and it is open to the public. Ask about their training and consulting capacities as well. Worth a visit.
THANKS TO OUR VOLUNTEERS
Since the month of February, William Lee Grinager and Steven Thomas Kubas, both residents of San Miguel, assisted in caring for the plants in our collection and nursery. They performed their tasks with seriousness and excellence for which the staff of El Charco thanks them. They provide a good example to follow.
Fee $250 pesos | Space limited
This sweat-lodge steam bath, of ritual and healing character, takes place under the direction of an experienced temazcal leader in the ruins of the hacienda located in the Botanical Garden on the far side of the reservoir.
The combination of heat, humidity and fragrant herbs provides a purifying experience for the body and spirit. Its benefits are multiple: it activates circulation, increases the body’s defenses, eliminates pains, decreases uric acid, relaxes the muscles, regulates the nervous system, stimulates respiration and is excellent for losing weight.
RESERVATION NECESSARY: email@example.com | Tel: 154.8838, 154.47.15, or in the Botanical Garden visitor’s center.
Duration: two hours | Cost: $80 pesos, members $50
During this hot season, don’t forget to bring a good hat and be ready for a visit to the Conservatory of Mexican Plants, the Charco del Ingenio, the wetlands, the canyon, the archeological ruins and more.
We invite everyone to this open celebration which, for the past several years, has taken place at the end of each lunar cycle in the Plaza of the Four Winds of the Botanical Garden, under the always-inspired direction of Alicia Mayo. It is worth coming a little early to watch the coincidence of the setting of the sun among the mountains on the horizon, and the rising of the moon. We recommend that you come with a jacket and bring a musical instrument.
Information: Alicia Mayo, tel 152.03.76
The walks are for birders of all levels. They begin at 9:00 am and last about 2 1/2 hours. No reservations needed, and feel free to leave the walk at any time. Please bring binoculars, wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and bring water. Signe will meet you after you pass through the Reception area of the Botanical Garden.
Full summer is upon us. Many songbirds have finished nesting and fledged their chicks. The plumage of juvenile birds can be confusing. Juvenile male Vermilion Flycatchers may have blotchy pink and white breasts, or even clear pink. Some juvenile males, which haven't yet molted into adult plumage, can look a bit like adult females. First-year male Scott's Orioles, for example, don't yet have their gorgeous black hoods.
Cost: $60 pesos for members of either El Charco or Audubon, $100 pesos for non-members of either organization (includes El Charco entrance fee).
VISIT LA TIENDA & LA CAFETERÍA DEL CHARCO
After a wonderful walk in El Charco during this hot season, refresh yourself with a delicious juice and something nutritious from our café.
In an effort to support small producers, you will now find in our gift shop hand embroidered covers by Olivia Lopez from Petaca and new jewelry, mostly amber, made by Lida Galindo of Chiapas. These will go fast.