It may be a long way from Paraguay's sprawling garbage dumps to the stately concert halls of Europe, but for one group of talented youths the distance isn't so vast -- after all, if music comes from the heart then it really doesn't matter if the instruments are made of trash.
The immensely talented 'Orchestra of Recycled Instruments' seems to have perfected symphonies of several classical composers, while at the same time perfecting the art of reuse. Thanks to an innovative program, called Sonidos de la Tierra, needy kids across the country are learning to change their lives through music and recycling.
Sonidos de la Tierra (translated as 'Sounds of the Earth') was first organized in 2002 as a way of educating young people from poor and underdeveloped regions of Paraguay through the shared experience of creating music .
Since then, the program has grown to reach over 3,000 children from 72 of the nation's poorest communities -- bringing with it the unique joy and personal satisfaction that comes with working to master a musical instrument.
With the help of more than 100 international sponsors, Sonidos de la Tierra has been able to put otherwise out of reach classical instruments into the hands of needy Paraguayan youths -- but perhaps the program's greatest contribution comes in special workshops that teach them how to make those instruments themselves, out of recycled materials.
So far, the Orchestra of Recycled Instruments may be the most widely known group of musicians to arise from Sonidos de la Tierra, having played over 80 concerts both in Paraguay and abroad.