Newsletter April, 2022


To preserve the natural and cultural heritage of El Charco del Ingenio, and maintain a botanical garden dedicated to the conservation and study of regional flora and ecosystems, with a primary focus on environmental education.


Vol. XVII, No 04

Life is brief and fleeting It’s a blink of an
eye It’s a flower among thistles A sigh
and nothing more – in memory of
Leopoldo Estrada


With unspeakable sorrow we feel the death, which happened on February 10, of our beloved Leopoldo Estrada Buenrostro, one of the founders and makers of the Botanical Garden, member of the Board of Directors of our association and a fighter always dedicated to the defense of the biocultural heritage of Mexico , from San Miguel de Allende and the Valle del Maíz, his small homeland. In love with the oak forests of our mountains, he walked them, cared for them and loved them for years, seeking their preservation as natural areas to celebrate life. A doctor by profession, he attended rural communities from a very young age and was closely acquainted with the reality of the Mexican countryside. His passion for popular culture led him to be a great image maker, from whose hands emerged masks and mojigangas that gave life, movement and dance to the huapangos and popular dances, in San Miguel, in the Real de Xichú and beyond. But above all, Polo was a great companion and friend, a kind man who always radiated affection, humor and confidence to those around him and we were lucky enough to be his close friends.


With great satisfaction we inform all the visitors, members and friends of the Botanical Garden that, finally, after a long and eventful construction stage, the new Charco del Ingenio reception was inaugurated last February. This includes a new Interpretive Room, which offers, in an entertaining and substantial way, relevant content on the Charco del Ingenio ecological reserve, on the conservation project and on the hydrographic basin where the Botanical Garden is located. The new interpretive module, open to all audiences, is part of the educational mission of our organization, aimed at building a culture of love and care for the natural world, with special attention to the youngest population in our society.

The opening events were sealed by the ceremonial attendance of the San Miguel stewardships (mayordomías) from Ojo de Agua and Valle del Maíz indigenous communities, commited to preserve ancient traditions and have supporters since 1991 of El Charco del Ingenio bio-cultural heritage. The events also hosted members from the scientific and artistic communities, both local and national, strengthening the science-art conjunction in the Botanical Garden threefold mission: bio-cultural conservation, environmental education and scientific research.

The new reception of El Charco has been possible thanks to the confluence of many efforts: architects, engineers, museum designers, editors, interior designers, gardeners, iron workers, carpenters, etc., gathered in various work teams, as well as the contributions of numerous contributors that made this relevant project a reality. To all of them, infinite thanks (and an apology in advance for any possible omission).

Architectural Concept
Pedro Alvarado · Marco Barrera Bassols · José María Bilbao · El Charco del Ingenio

Architectural Design:
Pedro Alvarado · Studio 15B

Engineers and Work:
Jacinto Estrada · EMAG Ingeniería

Marco Barrera Bassols · MUSEUM

El Charco del Ingenio · Louis Franke ·
Vivero Magueyes

Eduardo Olbés

Gift Shop (Furniture)
Francisco Mota


Montemiro · Gillian & Peter Neumeier Foundation · Community Foundation for Monterey · San Miguel Community Foundation · Hernán Drobny

Kahren & Michael Arbitman · Mark Deutschmann · Regine & François Sicart · Susan Edelstein · Unitarian Universalist Fellowship · Vanguard Charitable · Maria & Goerdt Abel · Ronald Thomae

William Peters · Terry & Jack Reinhart · Francisco Ríos Jiménez · Richard Gullan · Linda Whyman · Barbara Erickson · Honey Sharp · Fisher Weisman · Andy Blair · William Lee Ginager · Carolyn Stutts · C. Jobe · Culp King · Christopher Hixson · Mónica Gerez · Carol Jackson · Margot Dufrene Ketz · Eduardo Adame · QR Minerales

Kenneth L. Hillenburg · Leon Horowitz · Stephen Livingstone · Michael Pope · Marilyn Link · Christine McReynolds · Jimena Giménez Cacho · Ray Miles · John Chapman · William Lipsey · Steven Goldstein · Joshua Ehrlich · Rod & Glenna Copeland · Alfredo Alcántara · Phyllis Pitluga · Ed Laun · Richard Mason · Joy Levine · Viktor Hackl · Mathew Carroll · Daniel Neuspiel · David Zi Enterprises · Richard Plewa · Luke Rich · Dale Braiman · Robert Merchasin · Gregory Diamant · Klaus Schmidt · Weston Young · Deborah Chlebana · George Yatskievych · Alberto González Varela · Emiliano Sánchez · Kathleen Sheperd · Naomi Zurcher

San Miguel Community Foundation Visits El Charco

Recently members of the Board of Directors of this important philanthropic foundation, made up of Mexicans and foreigners residing in San Miguel, was invited by the Botanical Garden Directive to make a special visit to the newly inaugurated facilities, whose creation was greatly helped by the economic support of this non-profit organization. During the visit, the Foundation guests were able to know the new space of the reception/gift shop and especially admired the Interpretive Room, designed to introduce people both to the Botanical Garden and the ecological reserve, as well as the large hydrographic basin in which both El Charco del Ingenio and the urban area of San Miguel de Allende are located.

It should be noted that San Miguel Community Foundation has performed its mission for many years, economically supporting and channeling resources from North American donors to various social projects of our community. El Charco Board of Directors reiterates its deep and special thanks for the trust and economic support aimed at the creation of the new Visitors Center at the Botanical Garden.


OnFebruary 24, duringtheannualassembly of theassociationthatbringstogether and articulatesthework of thebotanicalgardens of Mexico, El Charco del Ingenio waselected to occupythePresidency of this importantorganization. In thisway, wereceivedfromthe Clavijero Ethnobotanical Garden, dependentontheInstitute of Ecologythatoperates in Jalapa, Veracruz, theresponsibility of leadingtheassociationfor a period of threeyears.

Likewise, duringtheaforementionedassembly, the new Board of Directors of theMexicanAssociation of BotanicalGardenswasvotedunanimously, beingorganized as follows:
– President: M. in C. Mario A. Hernández, El Charco del Ingenio
– AdministrativeSecretary: M. en C. José Viccon, El Charco del Ingenio
– AdministrativeSecretary: Lic. Marisa Ávalos, El Charco del Ingenio
– EducationalSecretary: M. in C. Carmen Cecilia Hernández, Botanical Garden of theInstitute of Biology of the UNAM, CDMX
– ScientificSecretary: M. en C. Erika Margarita Pagaza, Botanical Garden of Culiacán, Sinaloa
– Treasurer: C. P. Verónica Sagelín Hernández, El Charco del Ingenio
– Member at Large: Biol. Jesús Escalante, Botanical Garden of Los Mochis, Sinaloa
– Member at Large: Biol. Mónica Rivas Avendaño, HaravériBotanical Garden, Jalisco
– Member at Large: M. in C. Hermes Lacustre, CassianoConzattiBotanical Garden, Oaxaca

The new appointmentsmake up a diverse and qualifiedteamforthetasks of theAssociation and itsrepresentation in Mexico and abroad. And italso places thestate of Guanajuato as a biodiverseterritory, recognizingthetrajectory of El Charco Ethnobotanical Garden duringits 30 years of existence.


Thanks to everyone for supporting this event.

The new Charco Visitor Guide

The new design of this guide – in Spanish and English – allows the visitor to explore and discover the spacious area of the botanical garden and access magnificent views of the natural monument which is El Charco del Ingenio. The guide contains a suggested tour and shows a network of trails, accessible and guarded, in addition to offering information about the various points of interest in the reservation: exhibitions of plants, viewpoints, sanctuaries of birds, historical ruins …


The flowering of plants is an extraordinary phenomenon, since many are the factors that have to coincide for this to happen. Now the days are longer; there are more hours of light so we will begin to observe the flowering of the cacti and other native plants, multiple explosions of bright colors that advertise the arrival of Spring. In this section we will present the most beautiful blooms of the botanical garden.

On flowers and ethnobotanics

Dasylirion Wheeleri is an endemic plant of the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango. It is also known as Sotol, a traditional distilled drink from northern Mexico derived from this plant, similar to mezcal. Its production process is by eliminating the bluish-tone leaves, dig an oven in the ground to cook the stems, macerate them and distill to make the liquor. El Charco Ethnobotanic Collection has custody of 6 of the 21 species of the genus Dasylirion known in our country, and this year, for the first time, a Sotol specimen of the collection has flowered.

Friendly reminder to our membership

We ask all members to carry their membership ship and register in the entry book each time they visit the Botanical Garden. We also ask you to follow the entry sanitary protocol.

Thanks for your support


Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am – in English

Tickets are 150pesos for non-members and 100p for members

Don’t forget your face mask, please.


It is quite moving to see the ways in which people and sectors of our community support El Charco del Ingenio, a territory that has given peace, joy and nature to its users and visitors during the months of the pandemic.

Michael Hoppé is a recognized composer and musical producer, born in the United Kingdom and inhabitant of San Miguel since the 80s. As an active member of the Botanical Garden, Michael has recently offered a lovely gift to El Charco, inspired by his daily walks by the trails of the preserve, in the company of his wife Monica. The composition “Beneath Mexican Stars” is a musical piece that can go back to the most beautiful landscapes of Mexico or a night walk through the cobblestone streets of San Miguel.

Listen here:



Graphic work of four creative women from San Miguel de Allende:

Marijose Marín, Marisol Guerrero, Paquina Langenscheidt and Rocío Ríos

Available in our gift shop: 300 pesos