Newsletter May 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.


HELIA BRAVO: A FURTHER TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT MEXICAN CACTOLOGIST

Last April, within the framework of the anniversary of the Institute of Biology of the National University (UNAM) in Mexico City, representatives of Mexican botanical gardens remembered this extraordinary woman, pioneer of modern Biology. Helia Bravo Hollis (1901-2001) was the first certified Mexican biologist, founder of the UNAM Botanical Garden and the Mexican Society of Cactology, and the first to carry out taxonomic studies of Mexican cacti, which transcend to the present day and beyond our borders.

35 years ago, in 1989, the Institute of Biology of the UNAM and the civil association Cante -- founder of the El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden-- created a space in the Botanical Garden of the university dedicated to this distinguished researcher, called “Pabellon Helia Bravo”, where species of cacti and succulents were located, which can still be visited and admired. It was an honor for the representatives of El Charco del Ingenio to be present in the remembrance of this endearing and fundamental woman for the knowledge and understanding of Mexican biodiversity.


“NATURE AND MY WORLD IN SMALL”

Traditional Mexican toys
Temporary Exhibition
From April 30 to August 18

To value the knowledge and identity of peoples through expressions as significant as traditional toys, it is of vital importance for the conservation of biocultural heritage. The trade of toy making is fading and with it, traditional practices, relationship with nature, worldview and an important interpretation of the environment and everyday life.

The pieces selected for this exhibition come from different places in the country; They are an example of the skill and creativity of artisans who, from simple elements available in their region (such as wood, natural fibers, paper and other components) have built by generations toys that imitate the world in small. Toy makers are men, women and children, creators of trains, animals, dolls, musicians... whose materials or shapes evoke places from a country where someone plays while childhood goes by.

Traditional Mexican toys remind us the deep importance of the sense of play in the lives of children and adults. Showing their existence and promoting its elaboration opens other possibilities to enjoy the diverse and childish Mexico that they present to us.

This exhibition has been possible thanks to a collaboration between “La Esquina”, Museum of Popular Mexican Toy of San Miguel de Allende, the National Council of Humanities, Sciences and Technologies (CONAHCYT) and El Charco del Ingenio Ethnobiological Garden of Guanajuato.


SALE OF SEMIDESERT PLANTS

June 14th and 15th
9am to 5pm
Free admission

The plants of our region are the outcome of an fascinating process of evolutionary adaptation over many millennia, occupying their place and their specific function within semiarid ecosystems. They are species that have developed varied and amazing evolutionary strategies, which have allowed them to survive with scarcity of water and extreme temperatures, offering us their natural beauty.

This season, the Botanical Garden offers specimens of these plants at affordable prices, for the transformation of the San Miguel gardens. Advice will also be given for planting, watering and care, so that the acquired plants develop strong and healthy.


Mexican Agrobiodiversity

Within the celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Institute of Biology of the UNAM and 65th of the Botanical Garden of the same institution, the director of El Charco del Ingenio (together with authorities of the UNAM) inaugurated at the Dahlia Forum of the Institute of Biology the exhibition Vida cotidiana, una muestra de la agrobiodiversidad mexicana (Everyday Life, a sample of Mexican agrobiodiversity)..

The exhibition brings together more than 450 pieces from nine botanical and ethnobotanical gardens located in Guanajuato, Puebla, the State of Mexico, Querétaro, Durango and Morelos. The exhibition presents figurines used in mortuary rituals, tools, toys, ornamental elements among other items.


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.


ETHNOBIOLOGICAL JOURNEY

El Charco del Ingenio shares the Ethnobiological Journey: a series of workshops for elementry education students, in order to promote knowledge and appreciation of the flora and fauna of the region.

This activity is also available for school groups.
More information at charcodelingeniocomunicacion@gmail.com


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