Classical Music Played On Recycled Junk

Berta Rojas

Berta Rojas

Classical Music Played On Recycled Junk

In Paraguay, as in other Hispanic countries, classical music plays an essential part of that culture and serves as an important tool to provide cultural cohesion.  If you like classical guitar music, which I do, you will certainly want to check out Berta Rojas, a very successful classical guitarist, born in Asunción, Paraguay.  As of this date, she is the only Latin American Grammy Nominee from Paraguay.

You can read more about Berta Rojas here:

However, this is where the story gets interesting.  Picture this – an orchestra that plays classical music on instruments made from recycled junk!  Yes, that’s right.  All of the instruments are made from recycled junk.

A recent article in the Paraguayan newspaper, Ultima Hora, mentions Berta Rojas and her recent performance with the “Cateura Recycled Orchestra.”  The orchestra gets its name from the Cateura landfill waste dump nearby.  The article features a 12-year-old named Noelia Ríos Bogado, who plays a guitar made out of two sweet potato cans.  Watch Noelia as she plays her classical guitar made from recycled material:


Out of the many talented young people there, Berta Rojas chose Noelia as one of her students.  Noelia’s older sister Ada (13) plays the violin in the orchestra also.  Again, these young people are making beautiful music out recycled trash!

It is not a gimmick or a publicity stunt; these young musicians create music in spite of the poverty around them.  The orchestra director, Favio Chávez is quoted as saying:  “El mundo nos envía su basura, nosotros le devolvemos música.”  Loosely translated it means; “The world sends us its garbage, we refund it music.”

Ms. Rojas has traveled the world performing, including the works of Paraguayan composer, Agustín Barrios.  You can check out a video on Rojas’s website that shows her playing with the “Cateura Recycled Orchestra” who accompanies her with their instruments made out of recycled material in the Santa Ana neighborhood of Asunción, Paraguay.  Here is her website:

One finds innovation in the most remote places of the Hispanic World no matter how technical the innovation appears.  This is a story of a relatively poor neighborhood in Paraguay that decided, about what we call here in the U.S.A. “making lemonade out of lemons,” that their community would make music out of trash.  Hey, if that does not inspire you to go out and create something-anything, then I do not know what could or would.

Here is a link to the complete article:,-la-elegida-de-Berta-Rojas.  If you do not read Spanish then put your Google translator to work.  It is not a perfect translation by any means but helps you get the gist of it nevertheless.  You can find the “Cateura Orchestra” on Facebook:

If you would like to know more about Paraguay, please check out

Hispanicus Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 1 – January 2013

If you are a music lover, then you will want to take advantage of our expanded offer to receive the FREE MUSIC CD of Ana Alcaide of Toledo’s latest work “La Cantiga del Fuego.”

Here is the link about Ana:

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