Landfill Harmonic

Music and garbage have changed the lives of a group of Paraguayan adolescents.

The group, called the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, play instruments made completely out of garbage.  The director, Favio Chavez, began making instruments out of materials found in the landfill that surrounds their homes in the city of Cateura, Paraguay.

Chavez and his student's journey was featured in the film, Landfill Harmonic.  The movie was shone at the Dundee Library, for the One Book, One Community program, on Marchh 21.  The showing was moderated by Monroe Public Schools Librarian, Mary Bullard.

The film will be presented again at the Bedford Branch Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2, and on the MCCC campus at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 7 in Room 173c/d in the Administration Building.

One Book, One Community kicks off

Chavez began giving music lessons to children to keep them out of the landfill.  This continued quietly until the release of a video clip of the orchestra on the internet.  The clip garnered widespread interest and introduced the Recycled Orchestra to the rest of the world.

People began contacting Chavez to see the group play, leading the orchestra to play for their first audience.  They continued to play for audiences and were eventually asked to travel to other countries.  The group was invited to play with major rock bands, including Megadeath and Metallica, and began touring.

Tragedy struck Cateura in 2014, with severe flooding.  Chavez worked to secure housing for the families of his students who lost their homes.  The orchestra had to take a break.

The water receded, people started rebuilding their lives, and the orchestra started to practice again.  They have continued to do so.