Gilda was born in Ambato, located in the very heart of the Ecuadorian Andes. Since she was a child, she loved animals, often rescuing street cats and dogs. Her parents always made sure there were nature books and plenty of Jacques Cousteau’s videos at home. She graduated from high school with a degree in chemistry and biology. Afterwards, Gilda obtained a B.A. in tourism and hotel management in Quito. She also studied English, French and German, later spending two months in Brussels, Belgium.
Gilda began working on the mainland of Ecuador for the Museum of Colonial Art, the Archeological Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador, and the Ethnological Museum Abya-Yala in Quito. While working for these important institutions she specialized in archeology, baroque art, religious iconography, and the ethnic groups that live in Ecuador. She also learned about the medicinal uses of Ecuador's native plants.
Gilda has served as a guide throughout Ecuador. Her first contact with the Galápagos was when she travelled there to be trained as a naturalist by the Galápagos National Park Service and Charles Darwin Research Center in 1996, and she has been working as a naturalist ever since.
Gilda discovered a new passion for the observation of marine mammals, birds, geology, and biogeography and is also fascinated by evolution. When not at work in the islands, she spends quality time with her young son, and also likes to paint and practice photography while traveling around Ecuador with her family.