Orchestra in Paraguay transforms trash into musical treasure

Latin America

Orchestra in Paraguay transforms trash into musical treasure

Call it the landfill-harmonic. An orchestra in Paraguay’s capital is turning trash into beautiful music.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral visited the Cateura Recycled Orchestra.

The Cateura Landfill is the destination for most of the trash in and around Paraguay’s capital city, Asunción. It’s also the main source of income for thousands of people who collect recyclables to sell for whatever they can get. But eleven years ago the rubbish also began to generate art – through the instruments used by the unlikely ensemble known as the Cateura Recycled Orchestra.

The orchestra is Favio Chavez’s brain child. About 12 years ago Chavez came to the region to work as an environmental technician in the landfill but used his spare time to teach music to local kids. Over time, this initiative turned into a school that gave birth to the orchestra.

Favio Chavez is the founder and director of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura.

There’s nothing new in using recycled materials to create new instruments and come up with different sounds. But this idea is a bit different – using recycled materials to mimic traditional orchestra instruments. The Cateura Recycled Orchestra has already changed lives in this poor community. The hope here is that many more people are still to be touched and changed by the art produced.