MARÍA BELÉN ALBUJA
María Belén Albuja is an attorney licensed to practice law in the field of immigration in the United States. Before graduating from law school at the University of Denver (in 2009), she studied Law in her native country, Ecuador, where is also a legally authorized lawyer. Maria Belen is the general manager of ALBUJA LAW and she directly oversees the handling of cases to make the travel to the United States of our clients worth it. After the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to implement an innovative process in the services provided by ALBUJA LAW. Taking advantage of technology, software, the new business habits after the pandemic, and the vision of expanding the services of her law firm, she re-designed the method of working with her clients and introduced into her practice the possibility of handling immigration cases for anyone with access to a smartphone, no minding their location. She has also led a process of becoming her practice eco-friendly and reducing the carbon footprint of the firm. As an immigrant that went through all the way to become a US citizen, a lawyer, and a businesswoman, she is very aware of how extending a helping hand means a lot to whoever might need some support. At her 50s, Maria Belen keeps pursuing success manifested in the feeling of being happy and accomplished. Thinking out of the box and working out of the box, she keeps the goal of transforming her law firm and her law practice into a service accessible worldwide. She believes in the power of compassion and empathetic human beings, so she believes we all have the inner power of changing the world a little every day.
MELISSA ESTEFANIA AGUILAR
Melissa is a graduate from Multilingual in International Relations and Business in Ecuador. She has experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors as a Project Manager, Alliance Coordinator, Mentor, and Innovation Analyst. She has worked with different groups such as youths, people in human mobility situation, and people with different abilities. She has developed social, innovation, and entrepreneurship projects with methodologies focused on user experience, gender, and Human Rights. As case manager, she assists our clients from the first contact, working on their immigration case, answering our clients' questions, and keeping them updated with the progress of their case.
MARTHINA (MARTHI) GRANJA
Lawyer, graduated from the San Francisco University of Quito, is a member of ALBUJA LAW’s legal team since 2023. She is environmentalist and, animal lover and an outdoor fan. Marthi lives in the city of Quito, Ecuador, and has developed a law practice since 2017. She likes to spent her free time reading, watching documentaries, painting mandalas, listening to Latin rock, road tripping and spending time with her family, friends and her pets, Otto and Julia. As a member of ALBUJA LAW, it is a key piece to ensure the prompt and diligent treatment of our clients' cases within our firm.
CAMILA BOEZIO DE LA TORRE
Lawyer graduated from the University of the Americas in her native Quito, Ecuador. Her experience in the exercise of law has been developed in various legal studies in Ecuador and in the government sector. Throughout her career, Camila has been leaned towards the advocacy of human rights and the protection of the environment. As part of ALBUJA LAW's legal team, assist the lawyer manager in the firm, and Camila executes the task required to achieve a successful completion of the immigration proceedings of each case assigned. For Camila, the main objective behind of each of our client’s case is to protect the client's rights to freedom, work and a dignified life.
Originally from Guatemala, is the executive assistant at ALBUJA LAW’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado. After an immigration process to the US, Karen obtained her American citizenship while residing in New York. Though she is a graduate in Computer Operations and Networks Administration, she has a professional background in entities that serve migrant communities in the US. Her passion for service led her to work for the Guatemalan consular offices in the cities of Manhattan and Denver. In the state of Colorado, Karen has served as a paralegal in the immigration area, and also worked for 4 years at the Denver Department of Human Services in the processing or applications for public benefits. In ALBUJA LAW, Karen acts as a bridge between our firm’s staff, our clients and the different processes we run daily in the pursuit of the success of our client’s cases.
MARIA ELENA VALLEJO
Originally from Ecuador and resident of Quito, she’s been part of ALBUJA LAW since 2022. Her role as coordinator of the legal team, aims to ensure agility in the processing of clients' cases within our firm. For over 25 years, Male has worked in coordination and customer service positions. She has superior studies in psychology and permanently pursues to get involved in community projects. She is a mother of three children, 2 boys and 1 furry puppy; she’s a lover of nature and outdoors, and constantly pursues the enhancement of her inner soul.
JOSE MANUEL CASTILLO - MANU
José Manuel Castillo (San Salvador, 1982) is the Office Manager at ALBUJA LAW. His main responsibility is to guarantee the conditions for the operation of the firm, follow-up the execution of processes, the fulfillment of collective goals, and foresee scenarios that can impact positively or negatively to the firm and our clients. He migrated to the United States in 2017 when he was appointed to manage the consular office of El Salvador in the city of Aurora, Colorado. Between 2017 and 2021 he served as Consul of El Salvador for the states of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. In his professional career, Castillo has managed different offices in government entities, non-governmental organizations and international cooperation agencies; in his different rolls he has been responsible of project management, budget and human resources administration, advocacy on public policies, networking and customer service. His academic education as social and corporative communicator provides him not only an additional sensibility on the interpretation of different processes and social realities, but also a perspective of how the communication can be a management tool and an instrument to promote changes. Castillo currently resides in the city of Denver, Colorado.
ALBUJA LAW is not a race of speed but a race of consistency. It’s a story that started with one laptop, $400, a yorkie, and a very passionate immigrant from Ecuador that was convinced to become an immigration lawyer in the US, Maria Belen Albuja.
ALBUJA LAW was founded on March 2011, in Denver, Colorado.
On 2012, the immigration panorama in the US was filled with the expectation with the passing of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA. When the program finally was opened on June 2012, ALBUJA LAW starting to take off. Parents of the potential DACA recipients started to look for the services of “that lawyer” they met one year ago on different conferences or legal talks.
As immigrants from Latin America has been a growing population in Colorado, by that time Belen offered free immigration analysis in a brief segment in the number one Latino radio station in the state, 1150 am. Ten years later, this segment during the radio show hosted by the journalist Rodolfo Cardenas “Hablemos Hoy”, is still on air.
On July 2016, the firm gained big exposure when was invited for the first time to appear in the TV network Telemundo, to talk about DACA.
By 2017, the relationship with two entities important to the migrant community led ALBUJA LAW to be one of the best-known immigration law offices in Colorado and other neighboring states. In 2017, the Consulate of Guatemala in Denver hired the firm to advice Guatemalan immigrants in Colorado. One year later, the Consulate of El Salvador in the city of Aurora hired the firm for the same purpose.
Records show that during the legal clinics organized by the consulates, sometimes in very rural areas of Nebraska and Kansas, about 100 people required legal advice per day. ALBUJA LAW oversaw meeting this need.
When the COVID19 pandemic hit the world, as pretty much every industry, law firms were impacted mostly in the traditional method of managing the relationship with its clients. For ALBUJA LAW this was also an excellent opportunity to think out of the box, innovate and improve processes, to make them more agile and accessible to our clients.
Taking advantage of technology, the new business habits after the pandemic and the vision of expanding our services, in ALBUJA LAW we have re-designed the method of working with our clients. We have opened the possibility to fulfill an immigration case for whoever has access to a smart phone, no matter their location. Nowadays, for the management of our case workflow, we rely on the Clio Cloud platform.
ALBUJA LAW’s goal is that every day we get close to becoming a global law immigration firm.
Our current working method has also led our firm to incorporate an eco-friendly policy in order to reduce the waste and the carbon footprint as a result of our processes.
The consistently growing number of clients confirms the credibility of the firm. Prior to the pandemic, at the end of 2019, the firm managed 89 new cases. With the adoption of new workflows and customer services methods based on technologies of communication and information, by the end of 2020, the firm had an increase of clients of 33% compared to 2019, and 70% by the end of 2021.
With a special focus on the Latin American community, until December 2022, ALBUJA LAW has assisted approximately 1,300 recipients through a similar number of immigration cases managed by the firm.
ALBUJA LAW continues to be led by attorney María Belen Albuja, who directly oversees the handling of cases to make the trip to the United States of dozens of immigrants worth it.
People ask where the hummingbird icon comes from. Here’s a brief explanation:
There is an emotional bond between the lawyer María Belén, the hummingbirds in Ecuador, their family and childhood memories. The hummingbird was adopted as the icon of ALBUJA LAW for the characteristics that stand out in this little bird. There is an abundant diversity of hummingbird’s species in the continent.
With differences in colors, sizes and plumage, the hummingbird is present in all countries of America. The migratory behavior of hummingbirds is a known fact and despite their small size, some species migrate long distances to the wintering grounds during the autumn, and back to them in spring. For the strength and intensity of its flutters, its relevance to the ecosystem and for being a symbol of love and good omens, the hummingbird also represents those stories of migrants who have touched the heart of ALBUJA LAW.
Our values lead the service and proceeding of ALBUJA LAW. They help drive every decision we make and every interaction we have with our clients.
- Our clients as protagonists
- Life and work balance