LatinaLista — The saying — One man’s junk is another man’s treasure — is especially true in Cateura, Paraguay, a slum literally built on top of a landfill. In this small, impoverished town where drugs and gangs are natural extracurricular activities of young people, it’s no wonder that a project started by an orchestra director and music teacher to get children interested in music had the support of the local community.
There was only one problem. There were more children than there were instruments. However, the solution to the unusual problem was right under the feet and noses of the townspeople — create needed instruments from trash.
Today, the people of Cateura look upon the trash in their community as a treasure chest of potential instruments for what is now dubbed the Recycled Orchestra. Documenting this trash-to-treasure story is an upcoming documentary titled Landfill Harmonic.
The film shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.
Whether it’s using an oil can to create a cello or an old fork to hold the strings on a violin, the recycled orchestra truly turns trash into music.