Paula Garcia was raised on a small ranch in Peñasco Blanco near El Carmen. She graduated from Mora High School and went on to attend the University of New Mexico where she studied engineering and community planning. She returned to Mora as an Americorp volunteer working with elders and youth in the community. Paula has been Executive Director of the New Mexico Acequia Association since 1998. During her time with NMAA, she has built a successful statewide organization which has defended the water rights of hundreds of acequias in the state. Paula works well with elected officials and agencies at the state and federal level.