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After the brass band packed up its devices, Sergio Solano and two different meals supply staff walked a white bicycle to an overpass inside view of the United Nations headquarters.

A fellow employee, or compañero, as they name one another which means “accomplice,” had died lower than two weeks earlier that September in yet one more bicycle wreck on the streets of Manhattan. Delivering meals has proved to be a lethal occupation for a lot of of them. Driving bikes in any respect hours, they get hit by vehicles, are at fixed danger of getting accidents and falling prey to crime.

The spray-painted bicycle paid homage to Félix Patricio Teófilo, a Mexican immigrant who, like them, made his residing pedaling to ship meals. They chained it to the metallic railing close to the intersection of forty seventh Road and First Avenue, the place he met his finish.

With that solemn march by means of the drizzle, Mr. Solano, 39, was adjourning a night of mourning, fulfilling what he has come to see as a mission: illuminating in demise lives that had been relegated to the shadows.

“We by no means thought we might be organizing vigils,” Mr. Solano stated. “That was by no means our goal.”

Simply over three years in the past, Mr. Solano and family members who’re additionally supply staff began “El Diario de Los Deliveryboys en La Gran Manzana,” which interprets to “The Journal of the Deliveryboys within the Huge Apple,” a Fb web page with goals each sensible and informative.

The web page would act as a web-based assist community, an area to alert of bicycle thefts, visitors accidents and discriminatory encounters reported by Spanish-speaking immigrants who courageous the city frenzy to fulfill a New Yorker’s takeout cravings.

Alongside the best way, it might chronicle the job’s twists and turns.

Quickly after the web page was up and working it grew to become clear to Mr. Solano that the challenge would inform a much bigger story: Compañeros die repeatedly on the job.

Greater than 40 have died because the web page went stay in late 2020, by Mr. Solano’s newest depend.

In Mr. Patricio’s case, he hit his head on a curb with no helmet in a solo crash.

Meals supply staff had been for a short interval celebrated in New York because the Covid-19 pandemic drove life indoors and their companies grew to become crucial.

Supply apps provided viable revenue to those that had been laid off from their jobs or had their hours slashed, and for these whose immigration standing sophisticated acquiring authorities assist.

Because the pandemic lurched on, the hazards of the in-demand work grew to become evident. Activists shaped unions and pushed for higher pay and protections, an effort that continued into 2023. Below stress, town set the next minimal wage for app-based supply staff, beginning at about $18 per hour in October.

Nonetheless, the danger for a lot of staff has gone past wages. On the Deliveryboys web page, a stream of photographs bears the names and faces of the fallen.

Most of them are immigrants from Mexico or Guatemala who’re a part of an estimated cavalry of 65,000 meals supply staff in New York Metropolis.

The job has change into one of many deadliest.

A report by the city published in November 2022 stated that the fatality fee amongst meals supply staff who don’t use a automotive was 36 deaths per 100,000 thousand staff from January 2021 to June 2022. That fee surpassed that of staff in development (seven deaths per 100,000), which had traditionally been the deadliest trade.

Funerals, vigils, demise anniversaries and requiems have been organized, fund-raised and digitally inscribed into the neighborhood’s reminiscence by the self-titled journal.

Many have died in visitors accidents whereas on the job. Among the deaths aren’t associated to work. Others, like Francisco Villalva, have been murdered.

In March 2021, an assailant who was after Mr. Villalva’s bicycle shot him at a park close to 108th Road and Third Avenue in Manhattan. Mr. Villalva, of Xalpatlahuac, Guerrero, in southwestern Mexico, was 29.

Two days later, the web page streamed live video from the spot of the killing, calling for others to assist the household. Family who appeared within the video spoke in each Spanish and Nahuatl, an Indigenous language spoken in components of Mexico. (To this point, the video has greater than 132,000 views.) In addition they known as for justice.

“Sadly, one other compañero has misplaced his life doing this job,” César Solano, Mr. Solano’s nephew, and likewise a web page administrator, stated in Spanish, relating the information with a tv reporter’s cadence.

The Deliveryboys web page’s follower depend has surged from lots of to hundreds, affording the platform some mobilizing energy.

“For nearly a month, we did protests,” Sergio Solano stated. “We did vigils upon vigils upon vigils. Folks would come providing to donate meals or present stay music. Day by day that we did one thing, a ton of individuals would come.”

Mr. Villalva’s demise had galvanized the neighborhood. Compañeros paused their supply apps to attend the occasions. A Catholic priest was introduced in to steer prayers. Household and mates organized for meals. Others picked up devices.

One group wrote Mr. Villalva his own corrido, a Mexican folks ballad, telling of his journey in New York by means of its unnerving finish.

The killer, recognized as Douglas Younger, was caught and finally convicted of homicide. In April, Mr. Younger, a 41-year-old man from Queens, was sentenced to serve 41 years to life in state jail.

Since Mr. Villalva’s demise, the web page has helped make sure that every fallen compañero is given a remembrance — a follow that has change into virtually ritualistic, harking back to the farewells to cops killed within the line of responsibility.

The family members bear the brunt of the organizing, Sergio Solano stated, however the web page, which is 51,000 followers robust, brings folks out.

At Mr. Patricio’s vigil, César Solano, 22, livestreamed the band’s truncated sidewalk efficiency. Law enforcement officials fielding a noise grievance gave them 10 minutes to play their tribute.

Below a makeshift cover, dozens unhusked pork tamales, sipped on atole de piña (a pineapple-flavored corn beverage) and slurped steamy pozole from flimsy foam bowls, abiding every aching observe: a folksy interpretation of Chopin’s “Marche Funèbre” and conventional Mexican funeral songs comparable to “Te vas ángel mío” (“You’re Leaving My Angel”).

Mr. Patricio’s sister, Jovita Patricio, buried her face on a buddy’s chest. A tear parted her reddened cheek. Behind her, the candlelight caressed her brother’s portrait, encircled by flowers. He was her solely relative in New York.

The video stream of the band’s efficiency drew hundreds of views. One of many musicians, Edgar Cano, had at one level labored with Mr. Patricio at a restaurant, and so they each hailed from the identical space in Guerrero.

“We by no means know. At this time or tomorrow, one other buddy can go,” Mr. Cano stated in Spanish, his sombrero casting a shadow over his eyes.

Some discover the web page’s exhaustive posts invasive.

However Sergio Solano stated the web page’s focus and the tributes honor the fallen supply staff with “a correct last goodbye” and provides family members an opportunity to grieve from afar. “In the event that they cherished and adored him again house, we present that he was cherished and adored right here as properly,” he stated in Spanish.

In some circumstances, the web page carries stay video of the arrival of a compañero’s physique of their pueblo. Mr. Villalva’s return, for example, was shown in a livestream.

Final summer season, when Eduardo Valencia, 28, was killed in an accident whereas he was working, his story, too, grew to become the main focus of the Deliveryboys web page.

Mr. Valencia had come to town from Guerrero as a teen, stated his mom, Guadalupe Nepomuceno. His dream was to avoid wasting up sufficient to carve out a snug residing in his hometown, she stated.

“He wished to construct his home, return to Mexico and by no means return to New York,” Ms. Nepomuceno stated in Spanish.

However Mr. Valencia’s homecoming could be inside a coffin.

Ms. Nepomuceno, who lives in New York Metropolis, couldn’t attend her son’s burial, casting her last goodbye from a small digital display screen greater than 2,000 miles away.

The efforts function recognition for people who find themselves typically neglected, Sergio Solano stated.

“Within the eyes of society, they don’t exist,” he stated. “They begin to exist whenever you begin to give them visibility.”

As metropolis life regains its prepandemic rhythms, Mr. Solano added, meals supply staff have pale into the background.

Planting a “ghost bicycle,” as memorials for cyclists are recognized, on the spot of a compañero’s demise is a technique to inform of deliveryboys’ contributions and the final word value some pay.

With Mr. Patricio’s memorial secured, Mr. Solano and two compañeros donned helmets, mounted bicycles and crept towards the intersection. They regarded each methods for passing vehicles.

It was forty previous seven on a Monday night. Time to get to work.

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