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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

April, 2009 - Volume IV, No. 4

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.


Full Moon ceremony Thursday, April 9

Sneak Preview and Exhibition: Charco Calendar Friday, April 10

Temascal Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 26

Paistle-picking Wednesday, April 22

Garden Lecture Series: BBC Planet Earth screening Friday, April 24

Earth Day Cleanup Saturday, April 25

Yoga Mondays and Wednesdays

Guided Tours Tuesdays and Thursdays


Earth Day Clean-Up in San Miguel – April 25th

Once again this year, in support of this worldwide environmental awareness movement, the Botanical Garden will lead a Clean Up Day in conjunction with FAI (Save the Children Mexico) and PEASMA (environmental education organization) and UNAM, the new custodians of Parque Landeta.  The Botanical Garden manages to be generally garbage free but Parque Landeta and the exterior zones south of the reserve are in need of a good clean up.  For this reason we are asking everyone, especially neighbors and members of El Charco to share this day in support of our local environment.

earth day 2008
groups of students at Earth Day 2008 clean-up

Activities from 8:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. on Saturday, April 25th at the entrance to the Botanical Garden (please note: NOT Parque Landeta as in past years). There will be leaders for each group of 15 people in the Boveda at the Four Winds Plaza where a video about environmental education will be continuously showing. Once there are 15 people, a team leader will take that group to Parque Landeta, passing through the Garden, for the clean up.  Please come with comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat, water and gloves if possible.  For more information, contact or call 154-8838.



Paixtle-picking: Lend us a Hand by Lending us Your Gardeners'
Wednesday, April 22 at 9 a.m.

In honor of Earth Day, we are asking our membership and friends to send their gardeners to El Charco on Wednesday morning, April 22 at 9:00a.m. for half a day to help remove the paixtle from the trees. This is a local epiphyte that invades the branches and can smother it if there are too many. All who participate will receive instruction about how to take care of native plants.  Our Director, Mario Mendoza, will meet the gardeners at the reception area and show them the work areas.  The idea is that your gardeners, instead of working in your garden that morning, will assist at El Charco. We thank you in advance.


planet earth  

Garden Lecture Series: 
BBC Planet Earth

Also in honor of Earth Day, El Charco presents the first episode of Planet Earth, an Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning BBC nature documentary series narrated by David Attenborough. 

The series was described by its makers as "the definitive look at the diversity of our planet".  The first episode, From Pole to Pole, illustrates a 'journey' around the globe and reveals the effect of gradual climatic change and seasonal transitions en route.  We will travel from Antarctica to Canada to Russia, New Guinea and Africa meeting a variety of animals and birds. 

Friday, April 24th at 10:00a.m.  This special presentation is offered at 50 pesos and and will be shown in the Boveda Multi-Use Space at the Botanical Garden. Please reserve at


Successful Special Events in El Charco in March


This year’s Spring Equinox Concert, Opera in the Canyon, was one of the most successful ever. Close to 500 people enjoyed the arias sung by Rodrigo Garciarroyo and Belinda Gonzalez accompanied by Mario Albert Hernandez on piano. 

We thank our artists, the assistance of Opera San Miguel, our wonderful staff, and of course the public for making this a memorable event.



Our first annual Botanical Illustration course was completely full and all the participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Charlotte Staub Thomas instructed 15 participants on using ink, colored pencil and watercolor.  If you missed it this year, make a note for next March.  Thank you to Charlotte and the enthusiastic students!



What’s Blooming

Although the rains have not yet begun, some cacti and trees are in bloom already. The Opuntias (nopales, prickly pears), many of the smaller native cacti, mesquites, jara amarilla (yellow flowered shrub), Euphorbia radians (flor de tierra) are waiting for your attention. No need to wait for the rainy season.  To learn more about these plants and other flora and fauna, pick up a copy of Wild & Wonderful: Nature Up Close in the Botanical Garden ‘El Charco del Ingenioat our gift shop.

Opuntia flower: photo by Wayne Colony

YOGA EN EL CHARCO with Ximena Velasco.
every Monday & Wednesday from 10 – 11:15 am

Cost: 85 pesos /class, or monthly package of 8 classes for 560 pesos (70 pesos /class).
For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Juan Manuel:
Tel 154-4715.



A fond farewell and thank you to Olivia Ledón 

Everyone at El Charco wish all the best to Olivia who has been our Public Relations person this past year as she leaves for new ventures.  We have appreciated her efforts and enjoyed working with her. Mucha suerte, Olivia, in your future endeavours.



Guided Tours in English

We will have two tours a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10a.m.-12:30p.m.. 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.


Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m.
Sunday, April 26, 10 a.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

Thursday, April 9 at sunset
(8 p.m.)

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.

We celebrate the Full Moon Ceremony to come back into balance with nature on earth.  This is one of the most important Full Moons of 2009.  It amplifies the ongoing opposition between Saturn and Uranus.  Their face-off- heightens the contrast between hierarchy and democracy, the status quo and progress, fear and freedom.

Come and enthusiastically participate and dedicate your intention and energies on Thursday, April 9th at 8 PM at the Plaza of the Four Winds at the Jardin Botánico (don’t forget to change your clocks one hour ahead April 5th).  Bonfire, incense, chanting, drumming included.  Bring flutes, cymbals, a drum or any other instrument if you want.  

It’s worth arriving a little early to admire the setting of the sun and the appearance of the moon over the mountains. You may want to bring a coat for cool evenings.  Admission is 30 pesos, free for members. Children welcome. Any questions, call Alicia Mayo at 152 -0376.


tienda interior  

heading back up north

Want to bring back some special presents for friends and family?

Please visit our gift shop for lots of wonderful items – books, Tshirts, jewelry, musical instruments, soaps, agave honey and much much more.

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.” 




agave  garambullo  pajaros  nopales  bisnaga

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