The INC Story: How we got started…

Susan, Phyllis and Ann tacked up a handwritten flyer at the international schools around Madrid, inviting women who “are or feel like newcomers” to help organize a Newcomers’ Club.

The black and white cartoon at the bottom of the A4 sheet of paper surely clinched the deal for the 22 women who showed up at the first organizational meeting. The image is as fresh and telling today as it was in January 1988. With or without children, you can identify with the disheveled woman laden like a pack mule upon her arrival in Madrid, Buenos Aires, London, Hong Kong or Timbuktu. It doesn’t matter the destination; women generally shoulder the burden of “settling” the family into their new home and life overseas.

To do that, we need help. We need each other.

Susan first arrived in Madrid in October 1987 from Mexico City. Phyllis, another newcomer to Madrid at the time, had come from Venezuela where she had been involved in an international women’s club. Both Susan and Phyllis had small children and a desire “to meet people, share experiences and make friends.” Susan, Phyllis and Ann set out to build new avenues for international women in Madrid to meet one another.

Each of the 22 women who showed up at Susan’s home on January 22nd, 1988 for a cup of coffee and a chat about creating a newcomers’ club, left with a job to build the new club. Less than a month later, 45 women signed up at the first general meeting at Susan’s home on February 12th, 1988. The International Newcomers Club of Madrid was formed.