A Spanish surname, Lara comes from the province in Spain called Lara de los Infantes, which can mean a smile. The spelling variations for Lara include Larissa, Larrinaga, Larras, Larrea and Larisa. The Lara surname began in Catalonia in Spain. Many Lara individuals from Spain resettled in Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Peru, Cuba and Puerto Rico during the 18th and 19th centuries. In England the concentration of Lara families is in the city of London and into nearby Middlesex, Kent and Essex counties. Further north the surname is also in Norfolk, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Within the United States the primarily residences for those with the Lara family name are in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Famous: Osvaldo Lara (champion track and field sprinter from Cuba), Raul Lara (soccer player from Mexico), Tito Lara (singer from Puerto Rico), Denisse Lara (singer), Joe Lara (actor), Modesto Lara (a judo master from the Dominican Republic), Kiki Lara (soccer player from Mexico) and Juan Lara (professional baseball player).