July 2, 2018
Outside Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, lies the town of Catuera. There, at an enormous landfill, thousands of slum-dwellers support their families by sifting through trash to find things to sell.
It was there that Favio Chávez, an environmental engineer, came to help with a recycling program. That failed, but he stayed to teach music to children. Instruments were so scarce, and the children he was serving so needy, that Mr. Chávez, with help from a resident, created them from materials found in the garbage heaps. Those include violins made with metal cans, a cello built from an oil container and a drumhead fashioned from discarded X-ray film.
The result? The Landfill Harmonic.
Here’s the trailer to the documentary that was made about this remarkable story.