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When you live abroad, staying in touch with your family, businesses, and financial institutions back in the United States doesn’t have to be a hassle or expensive. With a little planning, an expat can stay in touch, pay bills, and manage money from anywhere in the world with no more than access to an Internet caf.

But if you intend to continue operating a business…or day trading…infrastructure (that is, high-speed Internet access and reliable e-mail and telephone communications) is critical.

Infrastructure in Honduras, and particularly in the Bay Islands, is improving almost daily. Several film production companies have used Roatan to film television series for the United States and Europe, creating greater awareness of the islands and more frequent cruise ship visits–this exposure will continue to attract foreign investors.

Already there have been some improvements to roads and electricity. Communications have advanced by leaps and bounds, with landline, cell, satellite and VoIP telephones, DSL and dial-up Internet connecting Honduras to the rest of the world. Satellite and cable television bring North American entertainment and news into Honduran homes.

Mexico continues to be a land of contrasts, both geographically and socially. Indian communities in mountain villages maintain centuries-old customs…not far from cities where wealthy businessmen scurry around with cell phones and wireless Internet.

In San Miguel de Allende, you can get all the amenities you expect in the modern world, including reliable telephone service and high-speed Internet access. You can get mail delivered and sent reliably and quickly through one of several mail forwarding services. Several international franchises are here, including Domino’s Pizza and Blockbuster Video. In addition to acclaimed art schools, San Miguel has one of the largest collections of English-language books in Mexico in its public library.

In Thailand, new condos to rent in Chiang Mai can come with free unlimited high-speed Internet (to rent a 500-square-foot condo would cost about $365 per month).

Outside of Bangkok, the U.S. Embassy has set up what it calls “American Corners” in various universities across the country. The aim is to foster mutual understanding between Thailand and the U.S. through a variety of means.

These include satellite programs, digital video conferences, high-speed Internet access, and book and multimedia collections. Another aim is to stimulate dialogue with individual citizens, groups, institutions, and the media through local information and cultural activities.

Montevideo, 120 miles from Buenos Aires, is Uruguay’s commercial, educational, and cultural center. It has a European ambiance and old-world charm. Ciudad Vieja, the old historic center, has sycamore-lined streets, open-air markets, fine restaurants, and sidewalk cafs.

Property prices are reasonable, and the day-to-day cost of living is on par with Ecuador, if not a bit less. There are numerous schools of dance, music, and art, along with 35 radio stations, good cable television, and high-speed Internet services. They’ve even got a jazz festival. In Punta del Este a broadband line costs $50 a month.

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