In 1999, members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Jose, CA, began to envision a Spanish-language worship resource which would support the congregation's Spanish language ministry. Rev. Lilia Cuervo, who then served as one of the congregation's ministers, worked with translators Ervin Barrios and Gaylord E. Smith and musician/composer Gildardo Suárez Bernal, to develop such a book. Cuervo, Barrios, Smith, and Bernal began collecting Spanish language hymns and songs and making translations of music already published in Singing the Living Tradition.
By 2003, these four visionaries had compiled a working document which they sent to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) with a request to publish such a resource. As the UUA began to review the proposal, a request was made to members of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) to evaluate the proposal and help develop such a publication.
Around the same time, a New Hymn Resource Task Force of the UUA began work on developing Singing the Journey, a supplement to Singing the Living Tradition, with the charge from UUA President William G. Sinkford to produce a book of contemporary worship materials emphasizing newer styles of music and diversity of theology and culture. The book was published in June 2005, became the best-selling book in the history of all UUA General Assemblies, and is now in its third printing.
Building on this success, the UUA worked to identify funds to continue work on developing the Spanish language hymn supplement. Two years later, in August 2007, funding had been secured, and Kenneth Herman, former UUMN president and a passionate advocate for multicultural music, was asked to become General Editor of the project.
Kenneth Herman worked with the original materials produced by Barrios, Bernal, Cuervo, and Smith, and a publication date of July 2009 was set. His team included copyright and editorial expert Melodie Feather, translators Xiomara DiMaio and Ervin Barrios, and UUA staff liaison Deborah Weiner and publications editor Mary Benard, and the result was a new volume entitled Las Voces del Camino. The book contains new musical arrangements of previously-published pieces as well as new text translations and chord symbols for all works.
Las voces del camino marks the fulfillment of a long-held hope. The four developers of the manuscript write in the book's dedication, "We dedicate this hymnal to all those who, like us, yearn for a musical expression of their liberal faith. It is our dream that this collection will nourish multiculturalism among our congregations and stimulate an upsurge in the vast Spanish-speaking world of the principles that guide our religion."