Jesús Peralta isn’t just a professional musician who has decades of experience playing with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti and other world-renowned artists — he’s also a carpenter.
Not by trade but out of his passion for sharing his love of music with the next generation, something that’s especially difficult to do in his hometown of Lima, Peru. As a music teacher there, 68-year-old Jesús is all too aware of how difficult it can be for kids like his students to afford lessons.
That’s why in 2012, Jesús founded Los Violines De San Juan, which provides free group violin lessons to young students in San Juan de Miraflores.
Unfortunately, as the prices of instruments continue to rise, it’s only getting more difficult for these children to afford violins that typically cost around $150.
For some perspective, in Peru, 6.9 million people live below the poverty line. To make matters worse, the town of San Juan de Miraflores is known to be one of the most dangerous areas in the country. Even so, many of Jesús’ students have to walk miles if they want to make it to their Sunday group lessons.
No doubt motivated by the dedication he saw in his students, Jesús found a way to make his own version of a violin, which he calls Bottlephone Violins. He crafts them out of recycled materials like plastic bottles, caps, and plywood.
Best of all, they only cost around $20.
Although these instruments aren’t perfect replicas of the real thing, they’re pretty darn close, especially to the untrained ear. Most importantly, they’re perfect for these beginner students, whose hobby could very well turn into a lifelong career and passion just as it did for Jesús.
“When you love music,” Jesús said, “there should be no obstacles to prevent you from spreading it.”