Paraguayan students make music with instruments constructed from garbage

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TREMONT, The Bronx — They’re called the Recycled Orchestra from the poverty-stricken town of Cateura in Paraguay.

A passion for music is something they all have. Money for instruments, not so much.

Directed by their instructor Favio Chavez, an environmental engineer, the students perform with instruments constructed from materials found in their local landfill.

The orchestra paid a visit to students at Theater Arts Production Company School in the Tremont section of the Bronx Tuesday, pushing the message that with hard work, anyone could realize their dream.

“The challenges they face coming from a particular socio-economic strata is parallel to here in the United States, in Tremont,” Ron Link, principal at TAPco told PIX11 News. “The art that the children engage with actually gave them meaning and purpose.”

Chavez explained to students that they used whatever they could salvage to make music.

A cello was constructed from a can of cooking oil while a saxophone was made up of metal from spoons and pennies.

“It’s so important to dream and to fight for your dreams and to have passion in whatever you do,” he said. “Its all this that I hope these children learn from us.”

The orchestra’s incredible journey from the slums of Cateura to the world stage is chronicled in the documentary “Landfill Harmonic.”

It captures the early stages of rubbish to what eventually becomes magic.

The documentary that tells the story of Paraguay's Recycled Orchestra is now playing at Cinema Village on the Lower East Side.

Watch the trailer below: