They will undoubtedly get robbed/shafted/mugged/screwed carrying as couple of high price/desirable items. Carrying a laptop from place to place is a regal pain as is sorting out adapters for the whole o'the Globe. Why not get them to use internet cafés? If Baños in Ecuador has one, they are truly worldwide.
Laptop+travel all over the place= double baaaaad idea+ultra high risk of getting screwed. Tell them to sign up for Hotmail (free) and there ya go, Bob's your uncle. They would be bonkers to lug a phone and a laptop around. Whatever happened to post-cards and quick phone calls home or are they so 2003? ;-)))