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Recycled Orchestra turns garbage into beautiful music

The people of Cateura, Paraguay, are some of the poorest in Latin America, living off landfill. But one group has discovered a way to create art.

Recycled Orchestra instruments
Stringed instruments made from a metal glue canister, fork, used strings, recycled wood, and tuning pegs.
Landfill Harmonic

Cateura, in the Santa Ana neighborhood of Paraguay's capital Asuncion, is a slum. The residents live on a massive landfill, picking through the refuse for items to recycle and sell. A place where a violin would be worth more than a house, is, perhaps, the last place you'd expect to find an orchestra.

But that changed the day that garbage collector (now luthier) Nicolas "Cola" Gomez picked up the shell of what looked to him like a violin.

He took it to Favio Chavez, who was working on a recycling program and had opened up a music school for local kids, and together, they started creating musical instruments: violins and cellos from oil drums, flutes from water pipes and spoons, guitars from packing crates.

Recycled Orchestra members Maria and Christian play instruments made from landfill finds. Landfill Harmonic

In a place where children have very little chance of a better life, the Los Reciclados (Recycled) Orchestra gives them hope. "Landfill Harmonic," by documentary maker Alejandra Amarilla Nash, wants to tell the world the story of Ada, Tania, Noelia, Esteban, Maria, and Christian -- how they live, and how the Recycled Orchestra changed their lives. If the Kickstarter campaign reaches its stretch goal of $500,000, it will also send the orchestra on a tour of the world.

You can find out more about the orchestra on both the film's Kickstarter page (where you can also find an address to send instruments, if you'd like to donate) and Facebook page.

(Source: Crave Australia)