El Charco del Ingenio fundraising event at Camino Silvestre

By Joanna Francis

On Thursday, November 1, at their new second location at Correo 43, Camino Silvestre celebrated Día de Muertos with an altar in support of  “El Charco del Ingenio.”  Dedicated to the Monarch butterflies and to Mexican cacti, it was a return to the holiday’s ethereally beautiful, Pre-Columbian roots.

The Day of the Dead is traditionally a celebration of the return of the migrating monarchs. For centuries, maybe millennia, the indigenous people of Mexico have believed that the monarchs were the souls of their ancestors returning to earth to visit those they had left behind.

At Camino Silvestre, hundreds of painted monarchs followed a blazing path of cempazuchitl, amidst candles, offerings and tiny pots of endangered cactus. Musicians played under the projected images of the flurrying masses of butterflies in their winter home of Michoacán. The many guests who crowded in enjoyed atole and tamales along with mescal tasting while browsing the elegantly beautiful wares for which Camino Silvestre has become so well known.

As a fundraiser for Jardín Botánico, the event was a reminder of the extraordinary work they do in education and preservation as well as providing a refuge for all species. Amidst the joyful chaos of calacas and catrinas this past weekend, the monarchs wove their quiet path home, reminding us all of our connection to life, death and the natural world.


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