A film teaser released today entitled “Landfill Harmonic,” features “The Recycled Orchestra,” the creation of Favio Chávez, a landfill worker and musician. The film will feature Chávez and an inspiring group of children beating the odds in poverty stricken Cateura, Paraguay.
The town of Cateura was built virtually on top of a landfill. Situated along the banks of the Paraguay River, the landfill receives over 1,500 more tons of solid waste each day. Poor management of the waste has caused critical pollution to the most important water source in the country and threatens the health of it’s residents.
There are seven different neighborhoods built around the landfill, accounting for over 2500 families living in close proximity to dangerous waste.
Most of the families, including children, are employed by the landfill as recyclers. The poverty has forced children to work in the landfills, neglecting any education that might lead them to a better life.
Working beside the families for years Chávez eventually made friends and became acutely awarethat the children needed something positive in their lives. He was inspired to do something to help. He began using the trash in the landfill to create instruments for the children. Chávez explains:
“One day it occurred to me to teach music to the children of the recyclers and use my personal instruments,” explains 36 year-old Chávez, who worked as an ecological technician at the landfill. “But it got to the point that there were too many students and not enough supply. So that’s when I decided to experiment and try to actually create a few.”
The documentary, Directed by Graham Townsley, features the children of Cateura making beautiful music with their recycled instruments. It is hoped that the film will raise awareness and prove that those living in poverty can in fact excel and contribute to society in a meaningful way.