Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra is a children’s musical group that plays instruments made from recycled trash. The instruments incorporate everything from tin paint containers to spatulas.
The idea of turning something discarded into something uplifting came when music teacher Favio Chávez and trash picker Nicolás Gómez joined forces in the city of Cateura to find a way to teach economically disadvantaged kids to play music in a place where a real violin costs more than a house.
The idea is nothing new, but the instruments are!
“Repurposing materials that are part of your everyday culture has been something that a lot of cultures have done for thousands of years,” says Dr. Daniel Piper, curator of musical instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.