In the heart of the central highlands of Mexico, El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden includes over 170 acres of nature preserve in the historical town of San Miguel de Allende.  An extraordinary natural monument, its name comes from a legendary spring-fed pool nestled in an impressive canyon spotted by historic vestiges.  An old reservoir extends on wetlands frequented by birds and surrounded by vast slopes of native scrubland.  This is the scene of the Botanical Garden, devoted to the preservation of this area and its biodiversity, as well as a remarkable botanical collection of cacti and other succulent Mexican plants. The Garden holds environmental education programs aimed to the youngest, and a wide range of activities along the year reflecting the multicultural character of San Miguel.  A unique place for strolling, jogging, hiking, meditating or simply enjoying a peaceful time in Nature, El Charco also has a giftshop and a cafeteria.

It was a local initiative born in 1990 which resolved to rescue and protect a unique area of great environmental, scenic and historical value, open to all as a community resource.  An independent Mexican nonprofit, El Charco del Ingenio AC, owns and manages this land and its facilities, committed to preserve an outstanding natural and cultural heritage of San Miguel de Allende.

The non-profit has received several awards and recognitions through the years.  It is a member of the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens and Botanic Garden Conservation International.  It has joined the GlobaI Strategy for Botanical Gardens in Conservation, sponsored by the U.N.  El Charco is registered at the Federal Environmental Agency (SEMARNAT) as a Conservation Management Unit (UMA).

Peace Zone

In 2004 El Charco del Ingenio was proclaimed a Peace Zone by the Dalai Lama, Tibetan leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, during his visit to Mexico. Five Peace Zones were designated in the country, places free of violence and arms, dedicated to the conservation of nature and community development.
picture by por doug hunt