Newsletter March 2024


SPRING EQUINOX CONCERT: “GARBAGE ORCHESTRA” IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN CANYON

Saturday March 23 / 5:30pm
El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden Canyon 
San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 

For many years, the Spring Equinox concert has meant the welcoming of the new rhythm of nature for El Charco. We are celebrating 34 years of resistance protecting this magnificent natural monument and we want celebrate Earth like every year, in the natural forum of the Charco del Ingenio canyon. 

We invite you to share this celebration, financially supporting the Botanical Garden by purchasing a ticket, to enjoy a show of high artistic quality. This year we welcome an interesting group named Orquesta Basura(Garbage Orquestra), a group of musicians trained at the National School of Music who after 15 years of training have become composers, multi-instrumentalists and urban luthiers by making their own instruments from recycled waste, offering a sound experience without equal, fusing genres, styles and rhythms. Come and enjoy this harmonization of instruments that achieve a very particular sound in an extraordinary setting.

Access from 4:30pm
Tickets: Botanical Garden Reception
General ticket: 500 pesos
Members: 400 pesos
Boys and girls, below 1.30 m tall: Only 100 pesos 

*We remind the public that smoking or bringing food or alcoholic beverages to the Botanical Garden is not permitted. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and sun protection.

**Ticket purchase is in advance. There will be NO ticket sales on the day of the event. ** If you do not live in San Miguel de Allende and want to purchase tickets for the concert, send a message to charcodelingenio@gmail.com


NORMAN BESMAN: 14 YEARS OF BIRD WATCHING AND EXPLORING THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

In early 2009, after retiring from 33 years as a trial attorney in the United States, Norman and his wife, Colleen, moved to San Miguel. Attracted by its flora, its wildlife, its vistas, and to balance all his years spent working indoors, he soon started training to lead Natural History tours for El Charco.

After experiencing and learning the history, botany, biology, and geology of El Charco from many generous, knowledgeable people and all the books published by and about it, he started giving tours in fall 2009. Since then and for more than 14 years, he has been a part of El Charco family, both sharing his knowledge and love of the wonders of San Miguel’s Botanical Garden with visitors and learning from their questions and experiences. Recognizing the many changes in El Charco over the course of a year, he brings and shares a variety of his photos on his tours so that visitors can see the annual changes of nature on the site.

Norman, always with his hat, binoculars, camera, and backpack, is a familiar sight in El Charco for the weekly Natural History tours, the monthly birding walks, or just wandering on his own. As a birder for more than 50 years, he is also a guide for Sociedad de Audubon and has maintained records of bird sightings in El Charco since 2009. El Charco is his second home, and there’s nowhere he would rather be than with his wife here in San Miguel.


JORGE ESTRADA BUENROSTRO (1946-2023)

We regret the sensitive death of this prominent member of the Estrada family and the Valle del Maíz community, which occurred last December. Older brother of the late Leopoldo Estrada, founder and unforgettable collaborator of the Botanical Garden, Jorge played a fundamental role in the first works carried out in El Charco in 1990 and 1991, always with the support of his brothers Nicolás, Arturo and Jacinto. His great experience and taste as a builder resulted in the magnificent spaces that have surprised thousands of visitors for years and that to this day welcome us in the Garden: the Plaza de los Cuatro Vientos, the Plaza del Garambullo and the exterior and interior areas of the Conservatory of Mexican Plants. There you can admire the fine and suggestive stone work, with shapes, designs and colors that have marked onwards a peculiar constructive style in Charco del Ingenio. Jorge Estrada's footprint is thus engraved in the stone and in the memory of 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.


Language, Arts and Otomí Cultural Festival (FLACO)

🌿The FLACO has gathered Otomí communities, National Council for Education (CONAFE), The Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ) and El Charco del Ingenio.

🌿The challenges posed by climate change are the opportunity together in order to rescue the Otomí language as a strategy for the conservation of biological diversity.

🌿The ceremonies and conferences held within the framework of the 10th edition of the FLACO have focused on the need to rescue the Ñhoñho language, since it is only through the rescue of biocultural knowledge that we can find the answers to face the future.


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