Internet is now available throughout Mexico even in many smaller and remote towns. All the major tourism destinations on the Maya Riviera, Cancun, Valladolid, Merida, Chichen Itza, Piste, and communities in the southern part of the peninsula off the tourist routes are connected to internet. In most high volume tourist locations you will be connected to high speed ADSL and usually have WIFI availability.
Internet cafes exist in all communities of significant size. The quality of speed and computers will diminish with the smaller size villages.
Pisté has three or four internet cafes that have maintained business over the last decade. The internet speeds of these cafes however can be frustrating at times. In contrast internet connections in cafes in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel, Cancun are lightening fast. The hourly rates for computer/internet time can vary from $10 pesos per hour in the non-tourist towns to $20 in places such as Piste or perhaps as high as $30 pesos in Cancun and the Maya Riviera. At 13 mxn to 1 dolar, this is approximately less than US$1 to a maximum of US $2.50 an hour.
Exceptionally cheap for internet time. However, the quality of the machines can vary extensively. Except in the more luxurious locations of the Riviera, do not expect computers that are newer than 4 years old! The computers tend to have inferior or ancient hardware. They also tend to be clogged with a lot of chunk software, highly inefficient user-tracking systems, and internet temporary files that were last erased in the 20th century. In other words, these machines tend to have low amount of RAM and the functional RAM (chip, on-board, and temporary) are overloaded. Use of these machines, especially outside of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, could convert most sane persons into suicidal or homocidal maniacs. Be warned!
Do not expect the internet cafe to allow you to use Skype or other internet vidio and telephone services. Ask if they are available on the computers before your start your session. These services or software may be blocked from being downloaded and installed.
Internet cafes or Cybers may allow you to use skype and related telephone services -- such as the excellent cyber in front of the Cancun ADO Bus Station -- or they may not. If they do not they are likely to offer direct internet telephone service at their front desk. These rates are extremely competitive at something like 2 or 3 cents a minute for USA and or Europe. This saves you time from having to log on to the computer and your account, etc. Cybers in Playa, Cancun, and Tulum and in Piste have internet phone services at the desk.
Internet in Piste Homestays
The Pisté families that OSEA contracts for student homestays vary in terms of their socioeconomic level. The majority of families have middle class homes, yet they may or may not have internet capability. We encourage OSEA participants to reduce their internet use to zero. The more that participants use the internet for any kind of online communication, emails, Facebook, blogs, web-cruising, and so on, the less they are making the most of being in the program. Every participants makes significant financial effort to participate in this program. It only makes sense that participants should take advantage of living and learning in a culturally different community. An important way this is facilitated is by the total reduction of internet and telephone with friends and family in the USA.
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