14 Mar

Was the Landfill Harmonic Just a Fad?

Trends come and go every day. We see it with fashion, movies, diets and even popular phrases. However, sometimes a concept that’s introduced is so powerful that it’s here to stay ─ far from the passing fad many first wrote it off as being.

The Landfill Harmonic is here to stay. While the incredibly moving documentary from Alejandra Amarilla and her team was just released in 2013, the impact it made is permanent.

The Recycled Orchestra

Most of the time, when American children decide they’d like to play a musical instrument, their parents simply purchase or rent one. Rather than considering it a luxury, music programs are thought of as a given in most schools, which is wonderful.

However, many children in other countries aren’t nearly as fortunate. For example, most of the children of Cateura, Paraguay grew up never having seen a musical instrument, at least not one of professional grade. Located in the barrios of Paraguay, the village is essentially built on top of a landfill, which sparked the creativity of Nicolas Gomez and Favio Chavez. 

The talented garbage picker, Gomez came up with the idea to use recycled materials found in the landfill to create musical instruments for the local children to play. Chavez, a music teacher, took on the role of teacher and director of The Recycled Orchestra. Together the two created an incredible music program, giving the children of the village hope and something positive to focus on.

Support for the Landfill Harmonic

Alejandra Amarilla was instantly moved by the story of The Recycled Orchestra. She wanted to use her resources to create a documentary on the group, spreading awareness of their magic throughout the world. Filming began in 2010 and the crew returned again in 2011 to obtain additional footage.

Alejandra Amarilla created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce the film and experienced overwhelming support from donors. More than 5,000 people donated a total of $214,129 to the cause, an amazing 23% above the team’s goal of $175,000. Not only did this fund production costs, it also allowed the team to have extra money to send the children of The Recycled Orchestra on a world tour.

While some may claim this incredible cause is a passing fad, it is, in fact, far from that. The hard work of Alejandra Amarilla and her team served to spread the word about this incredible community across the world. As a result, many other poverty-stricken communities are realizing their own potential. Previously, they didn’t realize their children could ever have a music program, but hearing of The Recycled Orchestra in Cateura gives them an ideal to model after and helps make a life-changing impact for their children.