Paraguay’s Landfill Harmonic Orchestra

Paraguay’s Cateura slum is an absolute dump – literally. In a place where 40% of children don’t finish high school, where they work for and with their parents just to survive, music caught on in a way no one expected.

…play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. – 1 Chronicles 15:16

Paraguay’s Cateura slum is an absolute dump – literally. The small town sprouted up when the disenfranchised built a community atop the trash heap from which they scavenged a meager living. Environmental engineer Favio Chavez had started working with the Cateura youth in 2008, teaching them music as a means to keep them from getting into local gang culture. In a place where 40% of children don’t finish high school, where they work for and with their parents just to survive, music caught on in a way no one expected. When early students coalesced into a makeshift orchestra, instruments were needed. See how this community became stewards of their trash heap and used coffee cans, hard cardboard cartons and more to recycle a symphony.

“Los Reciclados” (the recycled) have been working on building a tour to raise awareness of poverty, pollution and music around the world. You can see more and support these kids’ cause at their movie website.