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Santa Cecilia Youth Orchestra

In collaboration with Keys of Change USA and Banda de la Música

Incredible musical things are taking place in the dusty barrio of Vicente Guerrero, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2011, young people facing incredible difficulties, including drugs, violence and poverty, decided they needed an outlet in their daily lives to help them escape this hard reality of life in their barrio. They chose music, formed the Banda de la Música and, with the help of a local music teacher, set up a music school. Six years after its formation, and with significant positive results for the young people participating in this musical programme, in 2017 Keys of Change decided to support the desire of these young musicians to create something beautiful in the face of all adversity. La Banda de la Musica has now developed into a youth symphony orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Santa Cecilia, which has become a shining example of how music can improve the lives of children coming from some of the toughest backgrounds.

Our programme in Oaxaca currently supports the musical education of 50 young students living on the outskirts of the city, in a community next to the landfill. The motto of the community is “while Oaxaca gives us their garbage, we give them back music”. Since 2021 Keys of Change USA has enabled two teachers to be based there or to visit regularly. Together, they provide more than 60 hours of classes a month.

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