El Charco del Ingenio, a Natural Protected Area for the Community
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
El Charco del Ingenio was recently the site of a significant indigenous ceremony. Among the scents of incense and wild flowers, the captains of the Holy Cross from Ojo de Agua blessed the Charco del Ingenio and all those who were there to witness the reception of the official certification from the SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) that declares El Charco a natural protected area. The captains asked the four winds for the eternal preservation of the area.
César Arias, president of the Jardín Botánico A.C, accepted the document from Israel Cabrera, the SEMARNAT representative in Guanajuato, who congratulated Arias for the great work of preservation of the zone. Cabrera told Atención that because the process to get the certification was “voluntary,” the federal government is not duty bound to support the organization financially. He made it clear that the government has the responsibility to do it. Cabrera highlighted that this year more than 200 thousand pesos were invested to preserve the area, and through a program of temporary employment, they hired people with low incomes who live near El Charco. In addition, with help of the State Institute of Ecology, 150 thousand pesos were invested for publishing The Birds Guide. Currently, more than 180 species of birds have been detected in the area.
Cabrera said in addition that this certification opens many doors “to get financial resources for El Charco.” Next year, he expects to get at least 500 thousand pesos for the organization, which would be invested in preservation programs. Cabrera mentioned also that in the state many beautiful natural areas have been devastated by haphazard urban planning of cities, and all of them should have been protected.
Arias thanked Cabrera for the certification and announced that, with the support of other organizations and members of the society, El Charco del Ingenio will submit a document to the city council asking for relocation of the Industrial Park located on the road to Querétaro because it is being constructed in an area where the aquifer is recharged; he said the water goes to the Charco del Ingenio and later to the Allende dam. He remarked that it is well known that waste-water treatment plants do not work properly and are the cause of natural disasters, “and we do not want that in El Charco because of the water pollution,” he said.
The document was submitted on October 16. It asked for the relocation of the industrial park closer to Federal Road 57.