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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

October 2010 - Volume V, No. 10

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.


MONTHLY PRESENTATION: The Social Revolution of Jose Guadalupe Posada - Friday, October 8 and Saturday, October 9

Call for Proposals: Land Art - proposals due Wednesday, November 3

Workshop: Waking the Power of the Sacred Woman - Saturday, Oct 16 and Sunday October 17

Day of the Dead Altar and Exhibit of Still Lifes, Saturday, October 30th to Sunday, November 7th

Full Moon Ceremony - Friday, October 22

Traditional Temazcal - Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24

Guided Tours - Tuesdays and Thursdays

Bird Watching tours - first and third Wednesday of the month


libro - Historias de un Jardín Botánico


Saturday, October 23, 1:00 pm | In The Cultural Center Ignacio Ramirez Nigromante Auditorium (Bellas Artes)  | Free Entrance

In the context of the Book Festival that will be taking place that week, this recently published book by the presitigious Santillana Editorial house will be presented.  This publication is the result of a collective work conceived and coordinated by the editor, Maria Angeles Gonzalez. Cesar Arias and Martin Smith of El Charco contributed descriptive chapters along with contributions by Luis Palacios and Adriana Tovar de Teresa (who sets forth the unknown history of botanical gardens in Mexico).  The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Patricia Lagarde and drawings by Dante Escalante.

We invite members and friends to attend this presentation at which all the collaborators of this publication will be present. The book will be available for purchase and you may get it autographed at the same time.


land art

Deadline:  November 3, 2010

Various artists have worked in this media, Land Art, such as Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Chris Drury, Walter Mason, Sebastian Silva, Jim Denevan, Dennis Oppenheim, to name a few.  Places that are protected, conserved, have harmony and peace, such as the Botanical Garden and Reserve of El Charco del Ingenio inspire artists to use them as a perfect canvass – in this case 11 projects of Land Art which will be integrated and contribute to the beauty of San Miguel.

We convoke artists and all creative people to walk, sit, smell, get to know the canyon, reservoir, paths of El Charco to be inspired and to join us in this experience.

Eleven projects will be selected for presentation on November 27th, 2010, judged by a panel of professionals. Agnes Olive, graduate of Sheridan School of Design in Ontario, Canada and a practitioner of art therapy, has worked for 30 years as a professional artist in various countries and represents many artists in her gallery in Canada.  Since 1996 when she arrived in San Miguel, Agnes has worked with various natural materials. Her last show, “Oneness of Spirit”, is about the interconnection between people and nature.  Ingrid Suckaer is an essayist and art critic, researcher and curator of modern and contemporary Mexican art. She has studied communication and history and has written a biography of Rufino Tamayo. Ingrid is an independent curator whose projects have been presented in various countries.  Representing the Botanical Garden, Hermes Arroyo has created a series of works using natural materials such as rocks, earth, plants, natural fibers, dried vegetable and inorganic matter, in an ingenious and creative way. Hermes is a sculptor, teacher, and creator of masks and mojigangas in San Miguel.  Marlene Parra, designer specializing in the editorial field, has training in enamel jewelry and design from INAB.  She participated with photography and writing in an international collective, Calm in Trees, which explored the relationship between people and nature in various art forms and music.

Join this first Land Art exhibition!!

Download the call to artists here.

land art



From Saturday, October 30th to Sunday, November 7th | Boveda  | Free Entrance October 30 and 31

Every year the Garden prepares an altar for Day of the Dead under the guidance of Hermes Arroyo, artistic director of El Charco. This year we dedicate a special altar to our friend and benefactor, Walter Meagher, botanist and naturalist, who died in England this past July. On this occasion the traditional offerings to the dead will be accompanied by an exhibit of several plants which have finished their life cycle but still surprisingly conserve the beauty of their colors, textures and form. In this way, we honor Walter and demonstrate the importance of propagating species on the point of extinction.

The altar and exhibit will open to the public on Saturday, October 30th starting at 4p.m.  There will be punch, atole, music and eulogies.  We hope to share this offering with friends and supporters of the Botanical Garden.

Walter Meagher
Walter Meagher



Jim Nikas

The Social Revolution of Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852 – 1913)

Jim Nikas | Friday, October 8
| 4:00 pm | Saturday, October 9 | 10:30 am | $70pesos | In Spanish and English

This slideshow presentation will be given by Jim Nikas, curator of the current Posada exhibit in Bellas Artes (until October 10th).  The talk will be accompanied by images of this famous Mexican artist who was involved in social causes which preceded the Mexican Revolution. You will recognize many of them.

Mr. Nikas, a San Francisco native, is a founder, curator and an owner of New World Prints, Privately held, New World Prints houses one of the largest collections of works by Jose Guadalupe Posada and Manual Manilla in the United States.


day of the dead


Saturday, October 16th and Sunday, October 17th | 11 am- 6 pm | Dayana Paz | $650pesos | family discount $550 | In spanish

Open to all women who want to cleanse and renew their feminine nature.

Program: ritual  of “chanupa”, explanation of lunar phases and influences, sacred songs, use of herbs to cleanse, meditation and breathing techniques and temascal ceremony.

Materials needed:  notebook, yoga mat and clothing appropriate for temascal.

Dayana Paz has 12 years experience as a yoga instructor, leader of temascales, meditation guide and promoter of prehispanic traditions.




GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM: Augustina Cerritos

This month we introduce Dona Augustina Cerritos, who is from the countryside and who assists El Charco with cleaning.  Everybody admires her sense of responsibility, her sweet nature and common sense.  She is always punctual and very self motivated and particular about her work. Without a doubt, Dona Augustina is an important link in our team who every day brings life to the Botanical Garden.

Agustina Cerritos




Things are coming along in this dedicated area….we have cleaned several areas, provided rustic benches in the shade of trees for resting, and enjoying the scenery. In this month of October we will hang several signs about the appropriate use of the Dog Park. We have already started to have people coming with their pets and their feedback has been most helpful.  For more information, see our receptionist at the Garden entrance.
  dog park




We are already receiving congratulations on the work that is visible in this new space dedicated to young people.  We can start to see the shape of this paradise from our creative childhood dreams. The lookout now has a firm handrail, the entrance bower is inviting and the solar observatory rises to the surprise of everyone.  All comments about this new space are welcome.

jardin de la tierra



national meeting of botanical gardens  


During the month of September the annual meeting of the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens, of which El Charco is an official member, met in Puebla.  Each year this important reunion brings together representatives from the principal botanical gardens in Mexico.  El Charco was represented by Cesar Arias, President, Mario Hernandez, Director, and Martita Granados, our curator of the collection.  Mario and Martita presented a paper on the “Contribution of El Charco del Ingenio to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation” as well as the poster exhibit on “Propagation of Geohintonia mexicana, Aztekium ritterii y Aztekium hintonii which are on the endangered list (NOM-059/CITES).

We are pleased to announce that San Miguel de Allende was chosen as the site for the 2011 annual meeting which will coincide with the 20th anniversary of our Botanical Garden.

reunion nacional de jardines botanicos




During the month of September some very special planters were donated by the talented local artist, Luisa Field.  Most of these unique planters have already been purchased by people knowledgeable about art who commented on their beauty.  We would like to give a special thanks to Luisa for donating these works to the Garden which has helped generate needed funds. Look for more of her work in our plant area.





We also invite you to see the creative jewelry designs made from seeds by Leonar Silva.  And you can warm up in our cafe with some hot coffee and light snack or dessert.
All purchases at the store and cafe help our conservation project. Thank you!



Friday, October 22 | 7 pm | Plaza of 4 Winds | Members free, $30pesos general public

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. Come and enthusiastically participate and dedicate your intention and energies at the Plaza of the Four Winds.  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. Children welcome. Any questions, call Alicia Mayo at 152 .0376.

full moon ceremony


Saturday, October 23 | 10 am | Dayana Paz
Sunday, October 24 | 10 am. | Alina Monterrubio
Cost $250pesos | Limited space

This sweat-lodge steam bath, of ritual and healing character, takes place under the direction of an experienced temazcal leader in the ruins of the hacienda located in the Botanical Garden on the far side of the reservoir.

The combination of heat, humidity and fragrant herbs provides a purifying experience for the body and spirit. Its benefits are multiple: it activates circulation, increases the body’s defenses, eliminates pains, decreases uric acid, relaxes the muscles, regulates the nervous system, stimulates respiration and is excellent for losing weight.

RESERVATION NECESSARY: : | Tel:154.8838, 154.4715, or in the Botanical Garden visitor’s center.



Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am | in English
Duration: two hours | Cost: $80 pesos, members $50

If you haven’t visited the Garden recently, this is a magnificent time of the year to do so. The reservoir has lots of water, the days are sunny and the climate perfect for a wonderful walk. The Charco is full of color from the wildflowers and it’s the season for spectacular sunsets. Visit the Conservatory of Mexican Plants, the canyon, the wetlands, archeological vestiges and much more.



Every first and third Wednesday of the month, 9 am – 11:30 am
Cost: $ 100 pesos general public | $60 pesos Audubon or El Charco members
Guide: Signe Hammer

The walks are for birders of all levels. They begin at 9:00 am and last about 2 1/2 hours. No reservations needed, and feel free to leave the walk at any time.  Please bring binoculars, wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and bring water. Signe will meet you after you pass through the Reception area of the Botanical Garden.

Fall is here! We invite everyone to walk along the paths of El Charco, and appreciate the transition from the greens of summer to the golden colors of Autumn. You can still appreciate the colors of the wildflowers which are slowing disappearing, and the profusion of butterflies and the best sunsets.




agave  garambullo  pajaros  nopales  bisnaga

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