Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A beautiful ceremony was held on Saturday, July 26th to dedicate the principal stairway of the new Vallarta Conservatory of Mexican Orchids in memory of Jalisco’s foremost orchid researcher, Roberto González Tamayo.
Roberto (1940-2014), dedicated much of his life as a professor with the University of Guadalajara's Institute of Botany. His fieldwork resulted in the discovery of several new species, especially in the orchid family, and content in several scholarly publications.
He explained that though the beauty enjoyed each day at the Vallarta Botanical Garden appears to have been created "as if by magic," it is in fact realized by the hard work of a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and the generosity of a community that appreciates the resource and benefit that the Garden has become.
Emiliano Sanchez Martínez, President of the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens, then spoke of the important work of Mexican botanists and botanical gardens and their impact in plant conservation, research, and public education.
The final two addresses were made by colleagues of Roberto González Tamayo, Lizbeth Hernández Hernández and Dr. Jorge Pérez de la Rosa, who both worked with Roberto at the Botanical Institute of the University of Guadalajara.
Lizbeth collaborated very closely with Roberto for over 20 years and during his last 10 years when he became blind, she tirelessly served as his eyes and arms to complete the first volume of a new series on the orchids of western Mexico – Las orquídeas del occidente de México, Volumen 1, Jorge Roberto González Tamayo and Lizbeth Hernández Hernández, México, 2010.
This impressive volume, full of meticulously written and illustrated descriptions along with accompanying colored photos, is now available at the University of Guadalajara's Botanical Institute and the Vallarta Botanical Garden's gift store.
Following these inspiring words by Roberto's colleagues, guests then gathered for a group photo behind the freshly installed tiles in memory of Roberto Gonzalez Tamayo on the stairway to the new conservatory. This event marks the "soft opening" of the new conservatory, but only the first plants that will form the facility's collections have been displayed and the staff will be working for months on getting plants and displays ready for the conservatory's grand opening on December 13th, 2014.
Located 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200, Vallarta Botanical Gardens offer something to keep every age group happy; from a Rose Garden for the romantic to jungle trails for the adventurous and a Carnivorous Plants area for the younger generation! The Botanical Gardens' vibrant and elegant settings also offer the perfect venue for weddings and special occasions. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit vbgardens.org.
Click HERE to learn more about Vallarta Botanical Gardens.