Besides its primary mission on conservation, study and promotion of biocultural heritage, the Botanical Garden serves as a space for social confluence open to all sectors of the local community, as well as visitors. Talks, courses, workshops, guided tours, meetings, astronomical observations, concerts, dances, ceremonies and various activities take place on the site, a reflection of the dynamic and multicultural society of San Miguel de Allende.
Educating in Nature
The Botanical Garden is also focused on environmental education, through permanent programs and diverse activities. This essential mission is aimed at the entire range of visitors to the site, although its priority targeting is children and young people, mostly through school visits of different levels and backgrounds. Likewise, educational actions are carried out in El Charco on special dates and permanent programs aimed at the local population.
Science within everyone's reach
Citizen Science is a collaborative activity between specialists and the general public, who work together to research and delve into topics of interest. From a scientific project, volunteers collect data that is then poured into a digital platform for researchers to analyze. The results help experts to clarify the question raised while citizens discover, through their own experience, that doing science is interesting, rewarding and fun. Added to the growing community of observers participating in this program are today's technological tools, which make it possible to cover a wide research territory in a short time.
You too can be a scientist!
As a complement to the main mission of conservation of Mexican flora, the Botanical Garden carries out scientific studies on plant species, both those growing spontaneously on the site and those that make up its botanical collection. Taxonomic, botanical, ecological and ethnobotanical studies are carried out, for the most part with the collaboration of researchers and institutions with extensive experience. This activity takes place at the Garden's Science Unit (dedicated to the naturalist Walter L. Meagher), a space housing laboratory, herbarium, office and residents' room.
Festival of the Santa Cruz del Charco del Ingenio
This popular and traditional celebration takes place annually during the second week of July on the grounds of El Charco del Ingenio and the adjoining Landeta Park. It is a crowded celebration led by the indigenous communities of San Miguel, which commemorate the founding of the Botanical Garden and the cross of conquest located in the Four Winds Plaza, which took place during the total solar eclipse of July 11, 1991. The celebration includes a nocturnal vigil with diverse offerings, traditional dances, culminating with a traditional "huapango arribeño".
The Cucharilla or Chimal (Dasylirion acrotriche) It is a succulent plant from the Mexican highlands, historically used by indigenous communities for making ritual offerings during traditional celebrations.
Unfortunately, this beautiful ancestral tradition has caused a drastic reduction in the populations of this species. Faced with the risk of its extinction, the Botanical Garden has carried out since 2001, with the participation of the communities themselves, a local program for the conservation of the Cucharilla, through the producing thousands of specimens in nurseries and their distribution and planting in various locations.
Art in El Charco
The natural beauty of Charco del Ingenio and the site's conservation work have attracted many talented artists and creators, both local and foreign, since its inception. Painters, engravers, sculptors, photographers, musicians, dancers and theater artists have found inspiration in the Garden. And some of them have generously offered their works to benefit the conservation project.
Annually in the month of March, on the occasion of the spring equinox, the Botanical Garden offers musical and theatrical presentations, which take place inside the Charco del Ingenio canyon, whose rock formations make up a large natural amphitheater, endowed with unique acoustics. In addition to representing a means of raising funds, these concerts, begun in the year 2000, have brought diverse and high-quality musical groups to San Miguel, attracting large audiences.
El Charco has also been the scene of various artistic encounters, such as those ofLand Art, exhibiting ingenious works and installations, based on natural elements of the site.