August 2011 - Volume VI, No. 08
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.
SECOND ANNUAL NOPAL FESTIVAL
Given the huge success of this festival in 2010, we will once again be celebrating this emblem of Mexico, a plant of great importance for its population, with exhibits of local producers of products made from the nopal plant. There will be tastings of both traditional dishes and new innovatations as well as a workshop on organic nopal given by Fidel Mejia, well known for his work in promoting this sort of cultivation in Mexico. And to add even more fun to the Festival, a huapango musical group, Tobia Hernandez y La Nueva Alegria, from Victoria, Guanajuato, will provide entertainment. You won’t want to miss this event!
VIOLONCELLO RECITAL BY JIMENA GIMENEZ CACHO | “Soplo al Vacio”
The program includes suites by J. S. Bach and two original pieces by Jimena Gimenez Cacho. This well known artist is generously donating the concert as a way of raising funds to help with the clean up work from the fire in May.
“For me, the violoncello is one of the profound voices amongst all the sounds that you can hear on Earth, and with this voice we can express and share the affection, love, anxiety, melancholy, and all the feelings and sensations that come from the depth of my being.”
Tickets go on sale starting August 15th. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
FIESTA DE LA SANTA CRUZ DEL CHARCO DEL INGENIO 2011
THE SCENT GARDEN: A Labyrinth of Aromas
We have opened another module of this interactive space in the Garden to the public, which is a great attraction not only to children and young people but to the adults accompanying them as well. The Labyrinth, designed by Guillermo Veytia, invites you to relate to the plants through sensory perception, in this case starting with aromas. The variety and magnificent fragrances of the plants that populate the labyrinth open to us other forms of knowing and relating to our plant world.
The labyrinth contains various plants, some native species of our area, along with plants from other parts of Mexico and the world which, after many years, have integrated into our culture and vegetal landscape. This grouping forms an exuberant community of aromas to be discovered.
A special thank you to a friend and supporter of the Botanical Garden, Luis Franke, and the personnel at the Franke Nursery, for the generous donation of plants for the labyrinth as well as for other areas of the Scent Garden, plants, which in some cases, were propagated and prepared during months especially for this purpose. A heartfelt thank you!
THE GARDEN CLUB SUPPORTS EL CHARCO
We thank the Garden Club of San Miguel de Allende for once again generously donating to El Charco. This financial support will be used to provide informative signs and labels in the Garden which will give visitors a better understanding and interpretation of what they are seeing as they walk in the various areas. Once again, thank you Garden Club.
WORKSHOP IN HOMEMADE REMEDIES USING HERBS
THE WORLD OF INSECTS
Dr. Enrique Pascual Alvarado, of UNAM, will talk about the various species of insects that inhabit El Charco del Ingenio and the region of San Miguel. Insects are the most abundant and active fauna in the Reserve and yet have been barely studied although they have an important function in the ecosystem.
THE 8TH PUPPET FESTIVAL OF SAN MIGUEL
LAND ART IN THE CHARCO – CALLING ALL ARTISTS
Various artists have worked in this media, Land Art, such as Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Chris Drury, Walter Mason, Sebastian Silva, Jim Denevan, Dennis Oppenheim, to name a few. Places that are protected, conserved, have harmony and peace, such as the Botanical Garden and Reserve of El Charco del Ingenio inspire artists to use them as a perfect canvass – once again - in this case 11 projects of Land Art which will be integrated and contribute to the beauty of San Miguel.
We convoke, for the second year, artists and all creative people to walk, sit, smell, get to know the canyon, reservoir, paths of El Charco to be inspired and to join us in this experience.
Objective: Use the landscape of El Charco as a background an artistic creation in harmony with the natural surroundings of the Reserve. That is, artistically alter the land using natural materials of the region that integrates both visually and environmentally without damaging the space.
EXTRAORDINARY TREES OF SAN MIGUEL
This imposing and beautiful example of Populas alba can be found along a river in an old, rural community of our municipality, on the road to Guanajuato. Maybe the abundance of water in the area of Cienega, not far from the Canada de la Virgen, is responsible for the growth of amazing trees such as this one. The age of this poplar is difficult to calculate but it is probably several centuries old since this species is slow growing. This tree is considered a natural monument by the inhabitants of Cienega, and hopefully for everyone in San Miguel and the local authorities as well.
NEW PASSES and CHANGE IN THE MEMBERSHIP FEE
The increasing diversity of activities and programs in El Charco has resulted in an increase in the number and type of visitors interested in nature, research, art, recreation and history. Considering the different needs and opportunities, especially as regards the local population, the Botanical Garden will from now on issue Special Passes, which permit multiple entries without committing to the purchase of an annual membership.
Annual membership: due to the increasing needs and improvements in the Botanical Garden, we feel it is time to increase the annual membership by $100 pesos. We feel this increase is fair and not onerous, given the benefits that members receive.
Thus the entrance categories and prices will be as follows:
Note: the single-day entrance fee ($40 pesos) will still be available for occasional visitors.
The 12th National Fair of Producers and Consumers “Lucha Rivera”
More than 500 participants from social organizations, cooperatives and collectives throughout Mexico will converge in Dolores Hidalgo during the first weekend of August to participate in the 12th Feria Nacional “Lucha Rivera” - por Una Vida Digna y Sustentable y por un Mercado Justo y Solidario (for a dignified and sustainable life and for fair trade and a solidarity market). The event takes place at Parque Alvaro Obregon, popularly known as La Alameda, Friday August 5, from 4 – 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday August 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.A wide variety of goods will be offered at the fair, including natural and organic foods and health care products, handmade clothing and accessories. However, the Lucha Rivera National Fair is not a mere buying-and-selling event. As a showcase of ecologically conscious community commerce – all the producers belong to groups that promote local and networked fair trade – it also provides a gathering place for the sharing of experiences, establishing and consolidation of collaborative efforts and solidarity suppliers and markets. There will be informational tables and presentations on issues such as climate change, organic agriculture, food sovereignty, alternative health, rural eco-tourism, eco-technologies, the role of academics in popular movements, barter and social coin.
Transportation from San Miguel to the Fair and back is available, contact email@example.com.
SUMMER DAY CAMP
Our two summer courses have successfully finished. El Charco held an environmental education camp where the youngsters learned the theory and practice of recycling. They also learned about birds, trees, insects, food, propagation, and handicrafts. We also thank the group of young people of Integrando Mexico 2011 who gave a course on Botanical and Recycled Art.
TRADITIONAL TEMAZCAL OF THE FULL MOON
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel:154.8838, 154.4715, in the Botanical Garden visitor’s center or in Border Crossings. 50% payment required to save a space.
THE FULL MOON CEREMONY
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. Children welcome. Any questions, call Alicia Mayo at 152 .0376.
Thanks to the rains, El Charco is full of colors, beautiful golds and lively greens, and the plants are so happy to see the end of the dry season. It’s one of the best times of the year to visit the Garden. The weather is agreeable and fresh and, best of all, water is running in the reservoir.
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. Your guide will meet you after you pass through the Reception area of the Botanical Garden.
VISIT THE GIFT SHOP AND CAFE
Purchases in the shop and café not only benefit the Botanical Garden but also the small producers we promote. This month we are featuring original lamps made from the cardon cactus by people in Puerto de Nieto. We also have medicinal products, “Flor del Desierto”, which come from the cultural and ecological reserve Wirikuta, a sacred place of the huichol in the northern part of San Luis Potosi.
Come and try our delicious chilaquiles for breakfast during this fresh, beautiful mornings.