“Garbage is something special. If you search, you’ll find beautiful things,” says Esteban Quispe, 17. And it seems he’s onto something. In both Uruguay and Mexico, children are making “recycled orchestras” using musical instruments made out of trash. Quispe, who is known as a genius in Bolivia, is completely self-taught in robotics and he’s already made his own cell-phone controlled Wall-E out of garbage he found in a local landfill.
This is impressive in and of itself, but his motivations are even more admirable. More and more people in his indigenous community in Patacamaya are leaving for cities, which means only the young and old stay behind. “So, who’s going to work? That’s the thing,” he said. “Who’s going to give us food to eat? That’s why I am going to build a robot to harvest crops.”
Watch the video below (that will certainly hit you in the feels) for more on this extraordinary teen, and learn why he won’t build a battery-operated robot: