In Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, one man's trash is not just another man's treasure. It's also his children's playground -- at least if you live in the village of Cateura, which has the honor of being built directly on top of Asuncion's main landfill. As one might expect of a place erected on a massive pile of trash, Cateura's residents lived in poverty. The primary industry was picking through the landfill for sellable items, a career which you might recognize from the sci-fi dystopia Elysium, or just, y'know, depressing old reality.
You need a tetanus booster just for looking at this photo.
Music teacher Favio Chavez decided to change that by getting the local kids interested in classical music. The only problem is that there are no instruments in Cateura -- a genuine violin would be worth more than their average house. They do, however, have a shitload of garbage. So Chavez decided to make lemons into lemonade. Or rather, garbageade. He built their instruments out of trash.
You're probably imagining some kid hitting paint-tin drums with twigs while someone scrapes a dead rat over a washboard, and then sobbing into your cornflakes over the injustice of it all. But Chavez has built violins, cellos, and wind instruments out of oil cans, cooking utensils, and bits of discarded wood. And they sound awesome:
The instrument they play best is your heartstrings.