Paula grew up in Guayaquil where she obtained an undergraduate degree in geology from the Polytechnic University of Guayaquil. She enjoyed many field trips all around Ecuador and during her vacations traveled in Central and South America in the hope of learning more about her people and culture. The last year of her studies she worked at a mine looking for a more ecologically responsible way of recovering gold. Interested more in volcanoes than in raw materials, she came to Galápagos, a mecca for geologists, in 1992. She was bewitched by the other wonders of the islands and became a naturalist guide for the Galápagos National Park.
In 1994, Paula went to Belgium for her master’s degree in quaternary geology at the Free University of Brussels. As soon as she was back in Ecuador she returned to her longed-for islands. Since then, she has been an interpreter for the Galápagos National Park, and for other nature destinations such as Baja California and Central America, where she also leads trips for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, with whom she has worked since 1997. In 2000 she obtained a U.S. sailing certification, and is qualified to skipper centerboard and keel boats up to 40 feet. In 2004, Paula published her book Galápagos Bedtime Stories intended for kids and kids at heart. She also writes a column about the Galápagos for one of the most prestigious Ecuadorian newspapers El Universo.