In Cateura, a slum built atop a landfill in Paraguay, young people are discovering the joys of art, music and creativity. They don’t have money to buy expensive instruments — a violin is worth more than a house around in these parts. Instead, they have learned to play on instruments skillfully crafted from trash found in the adjacent landfill. Nicolas Gomez, who is known to his peers as “Cola,” builds these violins, cellos, flutes and more in his studio (which he also built).
Under the direction of Favio Chavez, these youths have formed an orchestra that has come to be called the “Landfill Harmonic.” This is also the name of an upcoming feature-length documentary about these kids and their remarkable journey into the world of music.
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.”
Watch the trailer, above, and visit the film’s Facebook page for more information about the release date.
“Without music,” one girl says, “my life has no meaning.”
Images courtesy of Landfill Harmonic