Newsletter February 2022
Man does not weave the fabric of life, since he is only one of its threads. Everything he does to the plot, he does to himself. — Chief Seattle
THE NEW RECEPTION OF THE CHARCO: NO LONGER TO GO!
The renovation of our Reception and the construction of the Charco del Ingenio Interpretation Center is nearing completion and its opening to the public. The pace of construction, despite its forced decrease due to the health contingency we are experiencing, has not stopped, thanks to the generosity of the friends and donors of El Charco. The new visitor center, which marks a watershed in the history of the Botanical Garden, will strengthen the commitment with the San Miguel community to conserve and study the regional flora, as well as the promotion of a culture of respect and love for nature. We will continue working to achieve our mission, for which we require the financial support of the community. All help is important to finish the work!
FEBRUARY 2: WORLD WETLANDS DAY
Wetlands are all those places where surface water moves or where groundwater outcrops. These can be streams, rivers, dams, lakes, lagoons, mangroves or even beaches. Wetlands are the habitat of numerous plant species and a refuge for abundant wildlife. World Wetlands Day was instituted by the United Nations to protect these spaces at a planetary level, especially from the growing desertification of various surfaces of the Earth caused by the climate crisis we are going through.
El Charco del Ingenio is an important point of convergence of water from a wide hydrographic basin, located in the elevated part of the municipality: the Támbula Picachos basin. Its wetlands require special protection, as they contain a great diversity of flora and fauna, including resident and migratory birds.
NEW SPECIES OF ORCHID IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Walter L. Meagher Herbarium (WLM) houses a collection of 1,640 specimens, mainly from the state of Guanajuato. Being the only herbarium in the entity, its importance in the registration and study of the flora is of great relevance for scientific research. This collection has been integrated over 7 years, devoting efforts to collection, herborization, identification and systematization of botanical specimens. As part of the Herbarium activities, Dr. Gerardo Salazar, orchid specialist and head of the National Herbarium of Mexico (MEXU), was invited in 2021. During his stay, he was able to identify and confirm species of the Orchidaceae (Orchids) family, as well as record a new species for El Charco del Ingenio: Sarcoglottis schaffneri, increasing the list of native orchids in the Garden.
On the other hand, during the month of June 2021, the biologist Nelly Sandoval, a researcher of the genus Give to (fattening goats and goatee) by the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Autonomous University of Querétaro, identified, confirmed and discarded those plants that do not belong to this genus of legumes. These detailed reviews with specialists in certain botanical groups allow the Herbarium to update the scientific names of the plants in the herborized collection.
MASTER'S THESIS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES IN EL CHARCO
National Autonomous University of Mexico, Postgraduate in Biological Sciences
Biologist Stephany Rodríguez, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, included the Botanical Garden as one of the study points within the basin district of the Mexican Transvolcanic Belt, in her thesis on the diversity of necrophilous fauna, specifically flies of the species Sarcophagidae Macquart (1834).
In our country very little is known about the diversity of this group of arthropods, so the catalog of this thesis includes morphological and molecular data and photographs of the organisms. A total of 50 species were obtained, of which one of them had not been reported for the country. All this sets a precedent for the knowledge of the group in Mexico and for its use in forensic entomology.
EDWARD O. WILSON, A NATURALIST OF OUR TIMES
Thirteen years ago, in 2008, the magnificent book on the Botanical Garden was published: Wild & Wonderful, Nature Up Close in the Botanical Garden El Charco del Ingenio”, by naturalist and great friend Walter Meagher, with the participation of photographer Wayne Colony. This great testimony about the natural heritage of San Miguel de Allende had the immense honor of being prefaced by one of the most important scientific personalities of our time: the American naturalist Edward O. Wilson, whose death was announced at the end of 2021.
The "modern Darwin", as he has been described by the scientific community, represents not only a great research mind from Harvard University, but also a special sensitivity and a moral responsibility towards life on planet Earth. A few years ago, Wilson spread the "Middle Earth Plan" worldwide, addressed to the powers of the world. This plan proposes to protect half of the planet's land and sea to ensure enough diverse and well-connected ecosystems. Their survival would make it possible to reverse the current course of species extinction, which is taking place at a rate not seen for 10 million years.
In the foreword to the book on El Charco, Edward O. Wilson notes: "Ultimately, the living world will be saved by those who deeply care for particular spaces, who come to them to renew themselves, to strengthen their sense of identity."
TOÑO HERRERA, in memoriam
Antonio Herrera Centeno was an exceptional actor in the El Charco del Ingenio conservation project. The son of an old family from the Valle del Maíz, he knew as a child the rigors of poverty in the increasingly unequal society of San Miguel de Allende. He always supported the just causes of his homeland and the country and, without having access to school education, he became an enlightened and wise man. Since joining the El Charco team in 1998, his contributions have been of the highest order. He became an extraordinary master builder, to whom we owe several of the buildings we have in the Botanical Garden. As the great gardener that he was, a good part of the plant exhibition areas that we can admire today arose from his imagination and his hands. But his great contribution was the art of arranging, of arranging the stones, achieving structures of extraordinary solidity and beauty on the site.
Toño Herrera is gone, but his work, his benches and stone walls, his surprising gardens… and the memory of his intelligent and provocative talks remain with us. For all the beauty that he gave El Charco, for his teachings and conversations… Thank you dear Antonio Herrera. Have a good trip…
EL CHARCO’S NEW VISITORS GUIDE
The new design of this guide –in Spanish and English– allows the visitor to explore and discover the wide space of the Botanical Garden and access magnificent views of the Charco natural monument. The guide contains a suggested route and shows a network of trails, accessible and guarded, as well as offering information on the various points of interest in the reserve: plant exhibitions, viewpoints, bird sanctuaries, historical ruins...
EL CHARCO ON THE INTERNET: NEW WEBSITE
After more than 10 years with a website that has served to tell the story of El Charco and for the consultation of thousands of users, we are saying goodbye to this great virtual place.
In the coming months, the new page will be launched, which will be a reference for those who are interested in connecting with the Botanical Garden through beautiful photographs and friendly digital content to contextualize the visit to the site.
NATURAL HISTORY TOURS IN ENGLISH ARE BACK
Every Thursday at 10am
Ticket: 150 pesos per person / 100 pesos members
Don't forget your mouth cover!
Soul gifts, musical gifts: Thank you, Michael Hoppé
It is very 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. He is an active member of the Botanical Garden, who recently has offered a lovely gift to El Charco, inspired by the daily walks he realizes on the trails of the reservation, in the company of his wife Monica. The work, Under Mexican Stars is a musical piece that takes you back to the most beautiful landscapes of Mexico or a night walk through the cobblestone streets of San Miguel. Beneath Mexican Stars (Under the Mexican stars), is a musical piece that can take us back to the most beautiful landscapes of Mexico or to a night walk through the cobbled streets of San Miguel. Beneath Mexican Stars (Under the Mexican stars), is a musical piece that can take us back to the most beautiful landscapes of Mexico or to a night walk through the cobbled streets of San Miguel.
ART AND SCIENCE IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
NEW SET OF 12 POSTCARDS: BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS OF EL 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