LANDFILL HARMONIC of CATEURA – Youth Orchestra Performs with Instruments of Landfill Parts
What we found upon our visit:
The Inti Raymi Fund traveled to Paraguay to visit the Cateura Landfill Community and visit the new phenomena called the “Landfill Harmonic” founded by Favio Chavez roughly 10 years ago. We were simple blown away by the energy, happiness and sense of community which has been created by Mr Chavez and the vast network of musicians and their immediate family. Additional praise must be given to the resident carpenter/artist Nicolas “Cola” Gomez, who is the creator of the musical instruments from the landfill scraps.
Landfill Harmonic Story as told on their Facebook Page:
Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan music group of kids that live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra plays music from instruments made entirely out of garbage.
When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. With the guidance of their music director, they must navigate this new world of arenas and sold out concerts.
However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the Orchestra provides a source of hope for the town. The film is a testimonial to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit.
Our observations in the Cateura neighborhood & Music School:
As you can read from their amazing story above, it is a true organic miracle story, but that’s only half of the story. There is actually a much greater story below the surface. Upon spending hours and hours simply hanging out in the neighborhood and in the music school of the LandFill Harmonic in Cateura, we observed a much greater benefit than simply teaching children to play music with the hopes of some future economic way out of their current landfill neighborhood community. We found a true sense of community and belonging which the children and the parents find of great comfort and happiness. They now are a part of something greater than themselves or their lower socioeconomic community, they are a community within a community. Yes, there were hours and hours of “in and out of tune notes” which could be heard reverberating up and down the neighborhood, but when the music stops, that’s when the laughter, chatter and bonding of a deeper level seemed to radiate within the walls of the music school. The music school is much more than a place to learn music, it is a very comforting, nurturing safe place in a world of chaos, allowing these vulnerable children to escape and be whoever they want to be. Additionally, the amount of parent involvement is amazing. Whenever possible, the parents of these children are included in volunteer and or paid employment opportunities, allowing them escape and a sense of involvement along side their children in this new community. The successes of the now touring Landfill Harmonic has facilitated a tremendous “trickle down affect” beyond the immediate participating children. Employment, volunteering and financial support opportunities have created the Amayo Foundation and the Aso de Padres Organization of Paraguay. These community foundations were created as ancillary organizations to support the families of those involved with the Landfill Harmonic. The immediate activities for the Amayo and Aso de Padres includes “get togethers” for the elderly or disabled with home cooked meals, food & sustenance distribution in the landfill community and much more. Please remember, this community lives literally on the edge of the enormous Cateura Landfill which receives roughly three million pounds of garbage daily, which is sifted though for scraps by the families of these musicians within the Landfill Harmonic.
What the Inti Raymi Fund did:
The Inti Raymi Fund was simply blown away by how well this community works together, providing the children as well as the parents Dignity & Respect along with a second chance in life to dream. This is truly a synergistic masterpiece of social giving and causes, which we strongly recommend to others. Accordingly, the Inti Raymi Fund has provided $25,000 paid directly into the Aso de Padres Paternal Association, which helps the immediate community surrounding the Music School. These funds will be used for basic life sustenance for the families of these roughly 350 children which attend the music school.
We strongly recommend you visit their Facebook account below, watch their trailer, then download their full length award winning documentary to watch a great “feel good movie”. Afterwards, we believe you will feel compelled to support their great efforts directly:
Landfill Harmonic Movie Link below:
Start Date: June 2017
Completion Date: June 2017
Funded so far: $25,000.00 USD
Total Project: $25,000.00 USD
Lives Affected: 350
Chimu & Favio Chavez