Recycled Orchestra


There are many different musical genres, and I am aware that all people do not enjoy all types of music. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, there is some classical music in the following video. Do not let a disinterest in classical music dissuade you from watching the short video. This post is not about classical music; it is about a positive attitude. If you are wondering why a video about classical music belongs in a blog about overcoming adversity, please watch the following video. There is a possibility your thoughts about adversity might change after you watch the video.

There is a community in Paraguay, known as Cateura, where the town is built on a landfill. Families survive in the community by searching the landfill for useable and sellable goods. Furthermore, children in the community often turn to gangs, drugs, and crime for financial and emotional support. However, Favio Chávez and many other people are committed to making a difference in Cateura. Chávez is the teacher and conductor of the youth orchestra whose musical instruments are made from trash of the local landfill.


The music program has grown since it was first conceived. According to Robin Plaskoff Horton of Urban Gardens, “soon the music program for the kids of Cateura had more students than instruments. With no money for instruments, one of the resourceful garbage pickers, Nicholas Gomez known as Cola, worked with Chavez to make violins and cellos from oil drums, flutes from water pipes and spoons, and guitars from packing crates.”

Chávez believes the skills required to play an instrument can be applied more widely to lift his pupils out of poverty.

“The world sends us garbage, we send back music.” — Favio Chávez

If you want to know more about Cateura or the amazing people who are transforming trash into music, you may want to watch the following video produced by a team from CBS 60 Minutes.

Call to Action

If you are currently facing any type of adversity or you have advice for others who are facing adversity, leave your comments below this post.


Thanks to Kathleen Gick who shared a different Upworthy video that sparked my interest in watching other UPWORTHY videos; Adam Albright-Hanna who wrote the story upon which this post is based; Upworthy for choosing to publish the story; Favio Chavez for teaching the children how to turn garbage into music; YouTube for hosting the first video; CBS 60 Minutes for producing the second video; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture, video, and text I used in this post.



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