The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award was presented to the young musicians of La Orquesta de Intromentos Reciclodos de Cateura and their Founder-Director Favio Chavez.
Also known as the "Landfill Harmonic Orchestra" the group was on a 4-day tour of the Seattle area offering concerts and inspiring talks.
Cateura is a small town in Paraguay built almost entirely on or around landfill. It is located close to the capital Asuncion. The instruments are all made from recycled landfill items such as cans, pizza pans, bottle caps, cutlery, water pipes and much more. A drum used the skin from X-ray film while the bridge of the cellow was fashioned from a shoe brush!
Favio got to know these children and their families while working on a waste recycling facility in the town. Many of the children are unable to finish school due to their parents needing them to work. Favio, an Environmental Engineer with a musical background, decided to offer music lessons. The initial idea was to simply keep them safe from playing in the landfill. The orchestra has grown to over 60 musicians. They offer music lesson as well as instrument construction lessons using recycled materials to over 200 children.
For lifting the world with their message of love, music, simplicity and oneness we were delighted to present them with our Torch-Bearer award.