The members in Southern California like to call each other Sureño, Sureño 13, Sur or Sur 13. “Sureño” is Spanish for “southerner”. Just like most other well-known gangs, Mara Salvatrucha has a gang symbol they do with their hands for communication and identification. The symbol is called the devil’s head. Which when it is made looks like an “M” for Mara when turned upside town. It’s the same symbol you see at rock concerts, which is where the gang originally got the symbol from. Former members of the gang discovered it after attending heavy metal concerts and realized when turn upside down it looks like an “M”. They are also uncommon in their method for carrying out hits, as they never use a gun. They don't feel that a gun is brutal enough. The weapon of choice is the Machete, which many members always carry around with them.
Another reason the gang is so strong is because they have flexibility. When they first enter an area they make it so they are not know. They will wear here colors white and blue, very proud until the cops start to catch up in their presence then they change the colors, and do things they don't normally do like carry bandanas in their pocket, change markings to say 76 or 67 which total up to the number 13. They aren't like most gangs because they like to change; they are more like chameleons in an environment which makes them a stronger gang.