Invisible and often dangerous, they build New York City


Here’s what he told me about how he and his fellow reporters tracked down the men’s families and a key survivor, and why:

First, our colleague Annie Correal, then Karen, went out of their way to get to know 18-year-old Marc Martinez, whose death, crushed in a mechanical ski lift, was only reported in his country of origin, the Ecuador. That meant knocking on doors, finding a family friend, an abortive Gofundme page, and finally the family, who had spent their life savings smuggling him north. We were lucky to have resources to send Daniele Volpe, a photojournalist, to stay with the family in Gunag, their village in Ecuador, to document their daily life and ask questions about Marco.

They also located a roommate of Mauricio Sánchez, 41, a foreman who died in the elevator crash, found his brother’s name and eventually spoke to his mother in Mexico. Karen went to the men’s shelter where Michael Daves had lived until he died after falling into a hole. And thanks to court documents, they found his mother.

But our real guide, our Virgil through this world, was Yonin Pineda. I contacted his lawyer and we had three long talks. He was the one who gave us details like Sánchez playing the guitar.

He too was undocumented and knew what it was like to work a non-union job and maybe have this very present and lingering sense of vulnerability and not being completely comfortable with where you are, being exploited as worker.

And he puts you in this fucking elevator. How is? The horror of an elevator collapse. The nightmarish feeling of what it could be.

You want the drive in that elevator.


Temperatures will be near the 60s with a chance of showers and thunderstorms lingering throughout the day and night. In the evening, temperatures remain stable in the low 60s.


Comments are closed.