Luis Szaran (2)


Photo courtesy Landfill Harmonic

       § STORY SUBJECT:  There are no worthless people [people whose lives have no meaning].

THERE is a place in Paraguay, South America, called Cateura. Cateura is a place where people in Paraguay throw their trash.  But it is also a place where other people live. They are very poor and their lives are very hard. Their lives are hard not only because they are poor, but also because other people think of them as “low people” whose lives have no worth. 

     But one man did not believe this. He is a famous musician named Luis Szaran. He had an idea. He thought his idea could bring hope and a new future to the people of Cateura.  His idea was that music can improve people’s lives.

     At first, the people in Cateura did not trust Luis. They did not understand his idea. They thought he was there to sell them something or take something from them. But Luis told the people he did not want money. He wanted to teach their children music for free. Finally, the people believed him. But then he had another problem. Luis did not have enough instruments for all the children. Good instruments are very expensive and these families could not buy even poor instruments. But then Luis had another idea. Why not teach the men of Cateura how to make instruments out of the trash all around them?  At first everyone said you can’t do it. It’s impossible!  They had to try many, many times. But finally they did it!   

     Now the children have an orchestra that travels all over the world making beautiful music for people. The children in the orchestra teach other children too. Now the people of Cateura feel good about something in their lives. They have something to give others.  They say, “Music is beautiful … even when it is played on instruments made of trash.”  Listen for yourself. You can watch the video below.

     Luis says, “Our main goal is not to form good musicians, but to form good citizens. We need to make intelligence and self-worth more important than clothes and cell phones.”


 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - July 2021 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us: