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The El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden comprises 67 hectares of nature reserve, adjoining San Miguel de Allende. Extraordinary natural monument, its name comes from a legendary pool embedded in the bottom of an imposing ravine, where historical vestiges subsist. An old dam extends into wetlands where birds abound, and into wide slopes populated with native and semi-arid vegetation. This is the setting for the Botanical Garden, dedicated to the preservation of the site and its biodiversity, as well as an important collection of cacti and other succulent plants from Mexico, along with ethnobotanical collections made up of species for community use. For the study and knowledge of the regional flora, the Garden has a Science Unit and a Herbarium. It also maintains environmental education programs and carries out various art and science activities throughout the year. An ideal place to walk, exercise, meditate or simply enjoy nature, the Botanical Garden also has a store selling regional products and a cafeteria.
It was a civil initiative that emerged in 1990 that managed to rescue this site of great ecological, scenic and historical value, and project it as a community space. Its domain and management correspond to El Charco del Ingenio AC, a Mexican, independent and non-profit organization, committed to the conservation of the biocultural heritage of San Miguel de Allende and specifically of the natural space of El Charco del Ingenio.
The organization has won various awards and recognitions. He is a member of the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens (whose presidency he has held since 2022), and of the organization Botanic Garden Conservation International. Participates in the Global Strategy of Botanic Gardens for Conservation, sponsored by the UN. El Charco del Ingenio is registered with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) as a Management Unit for the Conservation of Wildlife (UMA) and, since 2021, as an Ethnobotanical Garden for the State of Guanajuato, under the auspices of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT).
In 2004, El Charco del Ingenio was selected by the Dalai Lama, leader of the Tibetan people and Nobel Peace Prize winner, to be consecrated as a Peace Zone, during his visit to Mexico. Five peace zones were then selected as spaces free of violence and weapons, committed to nature conservation and community development. Peace Zone by the Dalai Lama, leader of the Tibetan people and Nobel Peace Prize winner, during his visit to Mexico. There were five peace zones declared in different parts of the country. These are spaces free of violence and weapons, dedicated to nature conservation and community development.
Mission and Objectives
Protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Charco del Ingenio, as well as develop a botanical garden dedicated to the conservation and study of regional flora, as well as the construction of an environmental culture in society.
1.- Protect and manage El Charco del Ingenio, a natural area of ecological, landscape and historical importance, subtracting it from the urban expansion of San Miguel de Allende, to allocate it both for its conservation and for the public use and enjoyment of the area.
2.- Protect and conserve the Cañada de los Pajaritos forest reserve, and promote the conservation of the Los Picachos mountain range south of the city of San Miguel.
3.- Develop a Botanical Garden dedicated mainly to the conservation, research, promotion and propagation of the native flora of San Miguel de Allende, as well as the north of the state of Guanajuato and adjacent regions, with special attention to species in some category of risk.
4.- Recover, order and promote the knowledge and ancestral practices of local communities, on flora, fauna and other natural resources.
5.- Influence the construction of a culture of respect and conservation of nature, through permanent environmental education programs aimed at children and young people, as well as through publications and various activities for the entire society.
6.- Promote the Botanical Garden as a community confluence center, open to all social sectors of San Miguel de Allende, as well as foreign visitors.
7.- Achieve economic self-sufficiency, mainly from the income generated by the Botanical Garden, complemented with donations and specific external support.