Newsletter April 2024

NEWSLETTER

OUR MISSION:
Protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Charco del Ingenio, as well as maintain a botanical garden dedicated to the conservation and study of regional flora and ecosystems, mainly oriented towards environmental education.


A SOLAR ECLIPSE TO REMEMBER

Almost 33 years have passed since that morning in July 1991 when the Sun was totally eclipsed by the Moon for several minutes in a wide region of Mexico, including San Miguel de Allende. Those were the days when we were about to inaugurate the Botanical Garden, under the auspices of the civil association Cante, on a hillside of the extraordinary natural and historical monument known as El Charco del Ingenio.

The initial work of preparing and cleaning the site had been completed and it occurred to us – those of us who had this mission – that we could make the inauguration coincide with the solar eclipse, to give a symbolic character to the foundation of the Botanical Garden. And even more: we came up with the idea of summoning the main local indigenous communities to the event, considering that eclipses have had ancestral ritual relevance for the original peoples of Mesoamerica. The result was unexpected. More than twenty indigenous communities showed up and, during those ineffable moments, when a sudden darkness enveloped us and silenced us all, they not only supported the creation of the Botanical Garden, but, touched by intense emotion, resolved to raise a cross of conquest, an ancient symbol of peace that dates back to the wars of conquest of the sixteenth century. Since then, the Santa Cruz de El Charco del Ingenio has been celebrated every year in the sacred territory of the Botanical Garden and Landeta Park, as an indelible commitment of "union and conformity" among the indigenous communities of San Miguel de Allende.

This Monday, April 8, the cyclical movement of the stars will align once again to arrange another solar eclipse, which can be partially observed in our region. The new eclipse will make us relive the endearing moments of that July 11, 1991, as well as the ritual symbolism of El Charco del Ingenio, and our strengthened alliance with the indigenous communities of San Miguel de Allende.


TOUR FOR CHILDREN: NATURE AND SCIENCE IN EL CHARCO

Saturday April 20
Infants from 7 to 10 years old, accompanied by an adult
Duration 1 hour
Free admission

Hey kids! Learn about insects, mammals and vegetation through observation and play.

Have a fun time on this tour where you can enjoy the surprising relationship between nature and science.

To participate, simply arrive on time and register on the list.


COMING SOON: TRADITIONAL MEXICAN TOY EXHIBITION

In collaboration with La Esquina, Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano Museum in San Miguel, we have prepared a selection of pieces that will be temporarily on display in the Interpretive Hall of the Botanical Garden.

Sourced from various parts of the country, the selected pieces are a showcase of the creativity of artisans who, using in the most available elements in the environment, have built for generations toys that mimic the world in small models.

Valuing the tradition and expression of peoples’ identity through traditional toys produced with wood, natural fibers, paper and other materials, turns out to be of vital importance for biocultural heritage conservation, as the toymaker’s trade is fading and with it, a further connection with nature.

As a parallel activity to the exhibition and thanks to funding from CONAHCYT (National Council for Humanities, Sciences and Technologies) two workshops will be held to make traditional toys. One in an indigenous community in San Miguel de Allende, and the other in the Botanical Garden.


ARTIST JAN HENDRIX DONATES GRAPHIC WORKS TO CHARCO DEL INGENIO

This renowned Dutch artist, resident in our country for more than 40 years and passionate about the world of plants, decided to support the Botanical Garden of San Miguel de Allende, by donating a series of graphic works by ten artists, originally created to support El Charco conservation project back in 1997. These works were locally exhibited during the past months successively at the Botanical Garden and the El Nigromante Cultural Center, as well as at the Bella Epoca Cultural Center in Mexico City. The pieces recently donated by Hendrix – all of them “artist's proofs” printed in his workshop and kept by him over all these years – were successfully auctioned last February in Mexico City. The amount raised in the auction has been directed to the current expenses of the Botanical Garden.

We deeply thank Jan Hendrix's for his generous gesture in support of El Charco del Ingenio.


NEW ACCESS FEE TO EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO

As of January 8, 2024, the general admission ticket to the Botanical Garden will cost 80 pesos, with a special discount for students and teachers citizens (with an INE credential), whose rate will be 40 pesosfrom now on. Free entrance for children under 10 years old will be maintained, as well as the fee exemption on Wednesdays and Sundays for the sanmiguelenses (with an INE credential).

It has been a difficult but unavoidable decision for the Board of Directors of El Charco. After many years of maintaining general access to the Garden at 50 pesos, and in view of the continuous raise in the cost of living that we are experiencing both globally and locally, we are forced to make this increase in the entrance fee. This will allow us to better cover the growing expenses of the Botanical Garden, which include staff salaries as well as daily expenses for maintenance, conservation, research, education and community service. It will also help us to undertake diverse improvements --joining external donations-- and finally to offer a better service, attention and security to the users and visitors of this important biocultural heritage of San Miguel de Allende.

We thank the public in advance for their understanding for this unprecedented increase in the entrance fee to El Charco, considering an unquestionable reality: "Conservation Costs".


NOTICE TO VISITORS OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

Activities and private classes in drawing, painting, photography, video (use of drones), that use equipment and occupy spaces in the Garden, as well as ceremonies of any type, require advance written permission from the Direction, via email: charcodelingeniocomunicacion@gmail.com

We appreciate your understanding.


Viridantha minuscula: A NEW PLANT DISCOVERED IN EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO, A SPECIES OF BROMELIAD WITH NO PREVIOUS RECORD.

Last October, a specimen of this new species from the Bromeliaceae family was presented to the members of the Botanical Garden, during a special reception in the historic center of San Miguel de Allende. The members were able to observe, appreciate and learn from El Charco directors and curators the characteristics of this plant and the details surrounding its discovery and botanical identification.

The discovery of new plant species is not common nowadays, especially in populated territories studied by botanists for centuries, such as the region of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato. For this reason, the discovery of a new plant species, already confirmed by specialized scientific institutions, is very relevant news. This plant was sighted on the cliffs of El Charco del Ingenio by José Viccon, official biologist from the Botanical Garden, for several years. Resembling two species of the Bromeliad family, of the Tillandsia genus (locally known as paxtle, gallitos, heno), it turned out to be a new species of the Viridanthagenus, according to studies carried out by experts over several years and recently published in the journal International Phytotaxa.


2024 CALENDAR OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

Containing an image of the new species discoverd in El Charco Viridantha minuscula, an engraving by the sanmiguelense artist Rocio Rios, the new yearly calendar is for sale at the Garden’s giftshop.


NEW PUBLICATIONS!

ASK FOR THESE BOOKS ON YOUR NEXT VISIT TO THE BOTANICAL GARDEN



EL CHARCO DEL INGENIO: MEMBER OF BOTANIC GARDEN CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL (BGCI) BOTANIC GARDENS CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL (BGCI)

Since 2005, El Charco del Ingenio has been part of Botanical Garden Conservation International , the largest network of botanical gardens and plant conservation experts in the world. Based in London,England, this organization brings together a large number of botanical gardens in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to link members to create global participatory strategies in order to ensure plant diversity, for the well-being of people and the planet.

In a country like Mexico, whose geography comprises an enormous biotic wealth, botanical gardens play a fundamental role in the knowledge and conservation of biocultural heritage.


NATURAL HISTORY TOURS IN ENGLISH

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am

Ticket: 200 pesos per person / 150 pesos members


CHARCO BIRDWALKS

Ticket: 200 pesos per person / 150 pesos members


ART AND SCIENCE IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

JUEGO DE 12 POSTALES: MARIPOSAS Y PALOMILLAS DEL CHARCO

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