• Michael Ryan

From Trash to Treasure: The Landfill Harmonic


Recently, I came across this video on the internet which showed children in Catuera, Paraguay playing instruments made in their hometown... from trash! The children performed beautifully on these instruments fashioned from old oil cans, spoons, pieces of wood and metal and other various items found in the landfill. If you have not heard of this inspirational story, please take a look at this video of what is known as The Landfill Harmonic in Catuera, Paraguay http://youtu.be/sJxxdQox7n0. It is truly inspiring!

Since the city is so saturated with trash there are several individuals, known as "recyclers," who have been finding other uses for these forgotten materials. "One man's trash is another man's treasure..." as the saying goes. One resident and recycler, Nicolas, has been creating makeshift instruments from the abundance of trash which has helped young people to find beauty in the heaps lying around them. The main goal of these music lessons are to help the children grow into positive contributing members of their society. These children are instructed by Maestro Luis Szaran to produce beautiful music in an orchestral arrangement and as a result, these children are able to embrace this new talent and enhance their lives through the involvement in music through manipulation of their environment.

Many times in life we are faced with challenges and hardships that seem extreme, but there is often a way to see the beauty in life and embrace it. The members of this community have done just that! Their ability to utilize the trash to create a future for their youth is beautiful and truly inspiring. There is a movie about this wonderful endeavor and it can be viewed at http://www.landfillharmonicmovie.com where you can also contribute to the cause! You can also find them on Facebook by searching "Landfill Harmonic."

I am so grateful to be able to enjoy my love of music and to see young people who are half a world away also learn to harness this skill and enhance their lives.

Take Care,

Michael


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