Lions International has operated in the US for over a century, but only came to Spain after the fall of the Franco dictatorship in 1976. In Italy there are around 40,000 members, but by comparison Spain has only 2,000. However, the group has a strong presence on the Costa del Sol, with four organisations in Marbella that speak French, Spanish, German and Hebrew, and an English-speaking club established in Mijas.
Mijas La Cala
The La Cala de Mijas Lions Club was founded 19 years ago in that part of Mijas Costa. It is currently the only English-speaking Lions' Club on the Costa del Sol. Throughout that time, it has been raising funds to help local charities and organisations to provide a better life for the people of La Cala. The organisation is particularly focused on local youth projects, having raised funds for the purchase of much needed books, computers, air-conditioning, and sporting equipment in schools around the Costa.
The organisation has also invested in the La Cala Fencing Club and have paid for children to attend the local football club if their parents cannot afford the fees. Recently a local pensioner, Ana Blanco, was given a new mobility scooter by the club after her old scooter broke down.