Palenque is a city and municipality located in the north of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The city was named almost 200 years before the nearby Mayan ruins were discovered in the 18th century. The area has a significant indigenous population, mostly of the Ch'ol people, a Mayan descendant. The city is the only urban area in a municipality of over 600 communities, and is surrounded by rainforest. Deforestation has had dramatic effects on the local environment, with howler monkeys occasionally seen in the city as they seek food. While most of the municipality's population is economically marginalized, working in agriculture, the Palenque archeological site is one of the most important tourist attractions for the area and the state of Chiapas. It is the poorest major city in the state of Chiapas.