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This story takes place the slums of Cateura, Paraguay with a youth ensemble called The Landfill Harmonic. Their modest town is built on landfill, and the residents make their living recycling the garbage that is dumped there. In their town, a violin is worth more than a house.


Yet even in these harsh conditions, the beauty of music has become the main stay for a determined group of youth. Their instruments are made from recycled trash, but you wouldn’t know it by the pride they take in them or the beautiful music they produce.

Take nineteen year old Juan Manuel Chavez’s cello that is made completely of pieces found in the dump, built for him by the local men. Yet when Juan lovingly plays the J. S. Bach Cello Suite on this recycled instrument, the music is exalting.


The following quote by Favio Chavez, the Orchestra Director of The Landfill Harmonic encapsulates the power of the human spirit to rise above adversity:

The world sends us garbage. We send back music.

Watch the following video. Then if you’d like to spread a little joy this holiday season, share the video and its story with others. You can show your support for The Landfill Harmonic with a Like on their Facebook page too.

Recycled Instruments Bring the Joy of Music

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