Solea Water is dedicated to alleviating water poverty to bring hope to communities in Latin America.
We are dedicated to the vision of a world without water poverty.
Solea Water is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, formerly Water for Panama, formed in October 2012. (EIN 99-0382020)
Solea Water collaborates with a network of organizations to develop and implement clean water projects that vary depending on the needs of each individual community we serve. These include wells, water purification systems, hand pump repair, and conducting health education programs.
As Solea Water is an organization founded upon Christian values, we often work with mission-based organizations in the field. We do not, however, use donations for religious purposes.
The meaning of Solea Water
Pronounced (so - lay - a). In Spanish, it is a form of the word "solear" which means to leave out in the sun, or to purify/bleach - representing our water purification efforts. We wanted our name to capture where we work - in the always sunny Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Providing long term and sustainable water solutions
- Matching each community to the most appropriate clean water technology
- Empowering local communities by including them in every decision process
- Transparency with partners, donors, volunteers, and staff
- A Holistic Approach: empowering and always working with in-country partners who do so much more than water
- Striving to ensure the most of every dollar goes towards providing clean water
- "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" - Micah 6:8
RACHAEL BURCHETT, executive director
In 2009, Rachael went to Panama and fell in love with the people and the country, knowing she had to go back as soon as she boarded the plane home. A few years later, she founded the nonprofit Water for Panama - compelled by the desire to provide the communities she visited with life's most basic need, clean water. Rachael has studied public health at Saint Louis University. She recently married her best friend and they enjoy going on adventures and playing with their cat, Toulouse. At Solea Water, Rachael manages all water programs and travels to the field frequently to build relationships with local partners, conduct WASH education, as well as implement and follow up with water projects.
Board of Directors
President & Secretary
As a student at SLU, Meg was challenged to experience and be witness to health injustice around the world, and found a deep passion and commitment to social justice and global health. Through accompanying, living, and working among communities in Appalachia and Latin America, Meg was able to experience the burden of inadequate basic resources, particularly water access, and the threat it poses to public health. She was drawn to Solea Water because of the organization's commitment to sustainable and empowering water solutions and to ending the global water crisis. In her free time, Meg enjoys hiking, backpacking, and running. She is currently pursuing her Master's of Public Health at Saint Louis University.
Sophie Varvares is a graduate of St. Louis University. She has always been interested in working to serve others to have the best quality of life that they can, through her studies of special education. Sophie became aware of the water crisis when she went to Honduras with the Global Brigades to Los Hatillos, Honduras, where she helped to build a water pump so the community could have access to fresh drinking water. Working with Solea Water, Sophie is focusing on spreading awareness about the water crisis in other countries and working to continue the sponsorship development program.
Alison graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in December 2015 and has since been looking for ways to use her social media powers for good. She has been interested in global health and development ever since she and her friends donated money raised at their sixteenth birthday party to fight extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. She was drawn to Solea Water’s mission and the idea that providing one basic need can have huge effects on all aspects of life in a Latin American community. When she’s not scrolling through Instagram or writing Facebook posts, Alison can be found doing some light reading on Middle Eastern politics and apparently never taking a picture without sunglasses on.
As a student at Saint Louis University, Shilan studies the intersection of medicine, law, and social justice. It was there that she became an advocate for children living in underserved communities, most specifically in providing opportunities for education and raising awareness of childhood illnesses. Through her education, she became aware of the devastating number of infants and children around the world who die from preventable diseases, a majority of which are water-related. She recognized the need to bring health and well-being to these communities and found a means to do so in Solea Water. At Solea, Shilan strives to place the mission at the forefront of all that she does and to actively work towards a world without water poverty. In her spare time, Shilan enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing Settlers of Catan.
Prior to joining the team at Solea Water, Natalie found her passion for global health while doing service in Costa Rica. She has since been motivated to learn more about the water crisis and water's vital role in public health. Solea has given her the opportunity to continue to explore her commitment to improving access to and education about water and other necessities of life. In her down time, Natalie enjoys hiking, going to museums (especially history ones!), and eating popcorn. She is currently studying public health and entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University.
Shyama found her passion for global issues after having traveled abroad. In 2014, she participated in an inter-professional service trip with Saint Louis University Rotary Club to Honduras. On this trip, she focused on conducting a community assessments and speaking to people about clean water. This work contributed to earning a grant to obtain biosand water filters to help families get clean water. She continues to focus her work on global issues throughout the world and is currently obtaining a dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Health at Saint Louis University.
Spring 2015, Summer 2015
Having traveled throughout his life, Andrew found a deep passion for travel and encounter with other cultures, other languages, other ways of life, and ultimately other people. After several immersion trips and encounters with those who lack the basic necessities of life, he came to the realization that something must be done. These people and the injustice they suffer could not be "unencountered". The world would not go back to the way it was, and he felt a growing need to help. Currently he studies Public Health and International Studies at Saint Louis University.
After numerous international trips, Megan found her passion for international social issues and plans to continue internationally-focused work in college and beyond. In the fall, she will be a freshman at the University of South Carolina Honors College, double majoring in Spanish and International Studies with a minor in Dance. Megan first discovered Solea Water when it was known as Water for Panama, through her work as Co-President of Lafayette High School's chapter of Amnesty International. After spearheading a fundraising event for the organization, she knew she wanted to become more deeply involved. Through her internship with Solea Water, Megan hopes to give back to the global community by helping fight the water crisis to make clean water available for all. She enjoys running, dancing, and reading, and wants to serve Christ in all she does.