With our project “A colored music school for the Recycled Orchestra in Paraguay” we want to design the music school of the orchestra beautifully and create a welcoming atmosphere, in which the children of the Slum Cateura can feel comfortable and well. First of all, we would like to present the orchestra to you. The orchestra was founded ten years ago by Favio Chávez, who works as an environmental engineer. Cateura is a huge slum in the outskirts of the paraguayan capital Asunción. It is littered with garbage and is a place in which nobody would live voluntarily. There is no access to running water, education, healthcare or security. Additionally there is a lack of things which enrich daily life like music, sports and other activities. Things that help us to interrupt our daily routine, inspiring and encouraging us. The people of Cateura are confronted daily with the hard reality of life in the slum but keep the hope of surviving the next days and maybe improving the lives of their families. Favio was inspired to start an orchestra in Cateura and made it possible by creating instruments out of repurposed garbage. This orchestra gives many children of Cateura the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and offers them joy, hope and confidence. The orchestra is a place of learning — not just in a musical or social way – but also in a ecological way. Favio’s message to everybody is: “We shouldn’t throw away trash carelessly because we think it is worthless, we shouldn´t throw away people either”. Meanwhile the orchestra has become popular and plays concerts all over the world. The profits of these concerts benefit the community by providing the children of the orchestra with access to adecuate education. It teaches the children that they can achieve many things, when they believe in themselves. Today, there are 200 members in the orchestra’s music school. The group practices two times a week in Bañado Sur, a neighborhood with low infrastructure next to Cateura.
“Recycling Without Limits” – the origin of our project: During our voluntary work in the social sector we visited the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. Inspired by the wonderful sounds which they conjured from trash, we spend the whole day with the orchestra talking to its members and learning about the project from Favio. Since the music school is still growing and being built, it is not easily recognized. When we went to the orchestra it was difficult to find it because there were no signs indicating us which house was the school. This was the starting point for our first project “Recycling without Limits”, which was a one-week project. We collected trash in the markets, wood-pallets from the yards of fabrics, and bought paint and other supplies to make a huge sign and a new blackboard for the music school. Of course, everything was recycled. Additionally, we designed a logo for the orchestra and printed business cards for the Asociacion Armonia de Cateura, which is a group of parents of Cateura who help support the orchestra. When we presented our project to the orchestra the children couldn´t stop smiling – their music school finally had a colorful face.
"A colored music school for the Recycled Orchestra in Paraguay" – our upcoming project: You can imagine that the music school is the most important place in the life of many children living in Cateura, the place where they escape of their daily life in the trash – and therefore we want to transform this place into a beautiful inviting location. We would like to complete our next project in the period of four weeks next summer. Our plans include painting and furnishing the whole school with recycled materials. We will work with old fruit boxes, used wood pallets, and other sustainable materials. We will re-use everything we can. Although the materials are recycled and our labor is one-hundred percent voluntary, there will be some costs that we cannot pay by ourselves. A flight ticket from Germany to Asunción is about 1200 Euros and there will be further costs for tools, colors, and transportation. We will stay for free in a room of the music school for the four weeks and pay our food by ourselves. We are grateful for your support on our project. Every donation is a fundamental part of creating a colorful, welcoming music school in Paraguay! Together we can create a beautiful artwork. Thank you for all of your contributions. Kathy and FInja