Building sustainable communities through music: Paraguay shows the way

 Music is transforming society in Paraguay through an innovative social entrepreneurship programme launched by Sonidos de la Tierra, a band that keeps sustainability at the heart of its enterprise. The band, declared Artist for Peace by UNESCO, is leading the way in creating communities that promote sustainable values and good citizen practices through its music schools.

Lilian Molinas, Project Director of Sonidos de la Tierra, explained at the ‘H2O Sounds of Earth’ talk, held on Friday (21 January) at Expo 2020 Dubai, how 220 communities in Paraguay are transforming through the power of music. The talk and instrumental performance was held at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion in the context of Expo’s Global Goals Week.

Molinas said: “The community music schools are the heart of Sonidos de la Tierra. They are inclusive spaces where boys and girls learn to play with equal opportunities. They come together from different cultures and economic backgrounds, and unite together with the awareness that their role is of vital importance to the orchestra.

Annually, 2,500 boys and girls from 65 communities in Paraguay develop vital skills through music at the schools, and become income-generators in their society. The programme touches on the roots of poverty and the low levels of education, and motivates children to complete their education, hence creating sustainable social capital.

Molinas added: “With this transformative power, we take care of water and of the environment, forming an orchestra that plays sustainable instruments built by its own musicians. That expands the impact in the 65 communities of the Sonidos de la Tierra network, inspiring with music and empowering the communities to carry out environmental actions.”

As a result of the project, communities have removed tonnes of garbage from the waterways, recycled 500 kg of waste, and helped activate 10,000 people in environmental campaigns.

The preservation and sustainable management of water is of prime importance to Paraguay, a land-locked country in South America. In its effort to draw attention to its vital water resource, Orchestra H2O Sounds of the Earth and Sonidas de la Tierra have created a water harp – a musical instrument that gives a ‘voice’ to water, so that the world can listen to its sound and take action on its conservation.