24 Jun

Landfill Harmonic: A Lesson in Improvisation

IMG_6342The idea of making musical instruments out of trash might sound strange at first, but what if you knew that these instruments not only worked, but were capable of giving poor children something to be excited about? That’s the exact idea behind the “Recycled Orchestra” of Cateura, Paraguay.

A Struggling Community

Cateura is a small village built on top of a landfill in one of the poorest parts of South America. The area doesn’t have a lot of resources, and many of the villagers survive by sorting through garbage and looking for recyclables. This work often involves dragging heavy bags of trash for miles, resulting in a payoff of a measly few cents each day.

An Innovative Idea

The Recycled Orchestra was created by a man named Favio Chávez, who arrived in Cateura years ago and found himself in awe of the local children. He decided to open up a music school, hoping to empower the students, but he was faced with a problem: they didn’t own instruments, and Favio couldn’t afford to buy any. Determined to see the project through, he joined forces with others in the community on a mission to handmake instruments from junk from the landfill. More details will be added to the Alejandra Amarilla wiki page soon.

Thinking Outside the Box: The Power of Improvising

Most people see an object and only think of its typical uses. For example, if you see a button, you might only see it as something to fasten two pieces of fabric together. However, that button could also be used in many other ways: a guitar pick, a part of a board game, a piece of a sculpture. This is the type of improvisational thinking that has led to great inspiration and many innovative new ideas, which is why filmmaker Alejandra Amarilla was moved to the point of wanting to create a documentary about this wonderful project.

Landfill Harmonic: Inspiring and Moving

The Alejandra Amarilla wiki page will soon feature new information about this moving documentary. If you want to feel inspired and witness the power and creativity of the human spirit, check out the Alejandra Amarilla wiki page for more details. Alejandra is proud to document the beautiful people of Cateura and the way they are transforming trash into something greater than anyone could have imagined.