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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

September, 2008 - Volume III, No. 9

OUR MISSION: To protect and preserve our natural heritage and help build an environmental culture while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquility for all. Please tell your friends and prospective members/supporters how to access the newsletter and help broaden the base of support for the Botanical Garden.

expo reptiles

September, the month of flowers… 

flor flor

Whoever has visited El Charco during the month of September can’t forget the profusion and diversity of the aromatic and multicolored flowers on the green meadows during the rainy season. Flowers sprout from the trees and shrubs and the low ones line the paths like carpets of lilac, white, yellow, red, and orange, along the sides of the canyon and the presa and generally throughout all of El Charco.

Along with the flowers is a large diversity of pollinating insects such as butterflies rivaling the flowers in color.  In this month when the center of town is bustling with festivals and celebrations, a morning escape to El Charco is highly recommended – or a late afternoon walk to admire, among other things, the magnificent sunset over San Miguel, the Rio Laja valley and the mountains of Guanajuato.  A spectacular month for flowers, insects, sunsets, water cascading over the dam….come and enjoy. And speaking of which…

fotos Doug Hunt



Richard Cretcher, author of the book, Flores Silvestres, a pocket guide to the wildflowers of San Miguel, will be offering a walk in the botanical garden this month to identify the multitude of gorgeous flowers blooming at this time of year.  The date is September 19th starting at 9:30a.m.  Cost is 70 pesos for members and 100 for non-members of El Charco. This is a popular activity so please reserve a space early by emailing   cretcher



Starting this month you can find updated and more information about all aspects of our project:  creating the garden, the botanical collection, biodiversity, the historical site, activities, publications, how to contribute, and much more.  It is also now possible to donate online and there are downloadable forms for becoming a member, renewing membership and volunteering.  We want to thank Holly Yasui with all our heart for her patience and creative force as our webmaster in helping launch this new, beautiful, informative site.


Exhibit of Snakes and Reptiles


The Boveda, which is located to one side of the Plaza of Four Winds, will be inaugurated shortly as the multi-use space of the Botanical Garden, starting with this interesting exhibit of Mexican biodiversity.  Live specimen of the main species of reptiles and amphibians of our region will be displayed.  These come from the Herpetario of San Luis de la Paz, headed by Raul Hernandez Arciga, biologist and herpetologist from the National Polytechnical Institute and an enthusiastic collaborator with El Charco del Ingenio.  The exhibit will be on display for almost two months and will have guided explanations and the occasionally special exotic sample of snakes will be added to the exhibit.

Sunday, September 7th to Thursday, October 31th
Open every day from 10a.m. to 7p.m.
Entrance: 10 pesos (members with cards, free)
Inauguration: Saturday, September 6th at 5p.m.




Two important meetings were held in our new auditorium during August concerning alternative tourism in Guanajuato. The first was for promoters of tourism for the State and the second for civil servants of six municipalities, mostly from the north and northeast of the State. These meetings were sponsored by the Secretary of Tourist Development for the State and by Mexico Limpio A.C. and dealt with experiences, ideas for and the potential of rural tourism in the State of Guanajuato. The results were enriching and the sessions strengthened bonds between the participants.  El Charco hopes to offer many more meetings of this kind in the future.

boveda - exterior

boveda - interior


Olivia Ledón to head Public Relations at El Charco

Starting September Olivia, originally from Mexico City and resident of San Miguel for 10 years, is in charge of this important area of the conservation project. This position includes developing the various and growing relations between the botanical garden and individuals, groups, communities, media, institutions and authorities both within and outside of San Miguel.  Beyond the conventional tasks of “public relations”, Olivia will help make El Charco a Center for Environmental Interpretation in the service of our community. This will be a long term project but one that is as essential to our mission as the original rescuing and protection of the site, the conservation of its rich heritage and the botanical collection. Olivia will also be in charge of programming for the Boveda multi-use space which is open for community initiatives as well. Olivia’s email is


olivia ledon

We all warmly welcome Olivia to El Charco!



Rodrigo Vázquez, originally from Mexico City, took up artistic photography from a young age. After a visit to the botanical garden, he offered us a series of excellent pictures, a few of which are shown here.




Guided Tours in English

Tuesdays at 10:00a.m. sharp (instead of 9); duration 2 hours. A hat, water and good walking shoes are recommended. 50 pesos for members and 80 pesos for non-members. Private tours are also available for 150 pesos per person (minimum 5 persons). Reservations are not necessary.


When One Tree Matters
by Walter L. Meagher

If it were one tree, in a forest, the adversities of life would not be noticed; but it grows against the patio wall, a solitary tree of little stature, as conspicuous as a hobbling man.  Its nearest neighbors are conifers shaped like gothic spires, reminders of the dignity of the Appian Way.  The leaf stem of quaking aspen is flat, as if it had been accidentally compressed, the reason its leaves toss and turn in the gentlest breeze.  There seems no conceivable utility in such a feature, except my pleasure, or yours.  If the leaves were a sail, the boat would win every race in a slack wind…
(read more)


Sunday September 14th at 10a.m.

This relaxing steam bath is a ritual of healing and purification and is available every month for both men and women. Bring bathing suits and towels. It takes place in the ruins of an old hacienda, under the moonlight, across the dam from El Charco’s reception area.

The mixture of heat, humidity and scented plants and herbs is a purifying experience for mind and spirit. Its benefits are many: it activates blood circulation, increases natural body defenses, eliminates odors, relaxes muscles, helps keep the nervous system in good shape, stimulates breathing and is excellent for weight loss.

250 pesos, space is limited so please call for reservations or information 154 88 38, 154 4715, cell 01 443 10 3 3019 or in El Charco’s main office.


temazcal exterior

temazcal interior


Monday September 15th at sunset

luna llena


We invite everyone to this open celebration that has been taking place for many years during the full moon cycle at the Four Winds Plaza in the Botanical Garden.

It’s worth arriving a little early to admire the setting of the sun and the appearance of the moon over the mountains. We recommend bringing a coat and a musical instrument if you wish.

Admission is 30 pesos, free for members.


El Charco Gift Shop

Have you visited the new gift shop at El Charco? We recommend that you stop by to see a series of new products at the Botanical Garden. And don't miss the juice bar and cafeteria next to the Visitors Center of the Botanical Garden.


The egret in its new digs


Hi there. Even though I may look grouchy, in fact I'm happy since I moved here to the wetlands of El Charco. I have more food and peace and quiet here than in Juárez Park, my old digs. In truth, I couldn't have stood it much longer there, with all that traffic, the firecrackers, the noise ... I think that in the end, the pruning of the trees in the Park was a good thing, who would have thought it! OK, I'm outa here now, byeeee!

fotos Rosario Otero


You can make a difference

And you can make a difference with your contribution - volunteer or donate. We appreciate your support!! Please contact Naomi at

E-mail any comments or questions to the Editor at


“Botanical Gardens are not just places for conserving and displaying plants.  At the dawn of the new millennium, they are main actors in the defense and protection of the planet’s biodiversity, with a growing focus on the regional – thinking globally and acting locally.  And they are also builders of a new environmental culture for the societies that inhabit the Earth.” 




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