Chiapas, in the south-east of Mexico, is one of the most plentiful states in the country, with more different animals and plants than nearly anywhere else in the world. Jayne Constantinis explores the area and the changes that have happened, looking at the ruins of a once lost city. We meet the modern Mayan population of the Lacandon rainforest and find out about their lives as subsistence farmers.

First broadcast:
15 June 2007

Before viewing the clip, ask pupils to locate Mexico and its rainforest areas on a map of the world. Can the children spot the Lacandon Forest? They might also like to use sites such as Google Earth to take a closer look at the rainforest today. After viewing the clip, the children could go on to find out more about the history of lost Mexican cities such as the one Jayne Constantinis visits. Pupils could use a range of sources in their investigations, including history books, tourist guides and websites. Ask: "Why do you think this ancient Mayan city came to end up as a ruin?" and "Can you find evidence of any other ruins from ancient Mayan times?" Invite children to speculate on the history of the lost city, basing their ideas on the historical evidence they have been able to uncover. They could conclude this work by writing a short story called 'Last Day of the Lost City.'