When the children of a small village in Colombia’s war-torn southwest of Colombia decided to form a marching band, they didn’t know they would become a national sensation.
The video of children in the impoverished village of Magui Payan in Nariño making music on instruments made from garbage went viral this week, showing the country the rich cultural heritage of a region that is mainly known for its violence and abject poverty.
David Hurtado, a 17-year-old Magui Payan native, had the idea to organised the children of his home place to play in a marching band using the few resources available to make music.
Living under difficult circumstances and lacking the adequate percussion equipment was no barrier to the the children who improvised by using recyclable items, wood and tiles to bring music to the locals – and the rest of the country.
The video went viral after James Tonorio of the Young Educators Foundation, who has been promoting the children’s band published it online.
For an area of Colombia which usually only attracts negative publicity, Hurtado’s aim was to help “people realize that Magui Payan is not only violence, there is also talent for music, football and other areas.”
“That was my idea, it came as a distraction to getting involved in negative things and to be busy with something good,” Hurtado told newspaper El Tiempo.
The video was a slow burner at first, failing to attract attention. However, that all changed a few days ago when the video entitled ‘ the best marching band in the world’ started to spread around the country, attracting thousands of views.
Following the viral success of the video, the band was invited by Defense Minister Guillermo Botero to fly to a Bogota and perform at a military ceremony in the capital.