The previous owner inherited the bicycle in 1955 from a Portuguese gentleman in New York. I have enquired from a few acquaintances in Portugal, including with the Amigos das Pasteleiras vintage collectors group, but the consensus is that it is not a Portuguese brand.
I also received an email from a Brazilian collector and he says he's never heard of it. When i was in Brazil a couple of years ago I saw an exhibit at an airport, I think it was in Manaus, titled "100 years of bicycles" (or bicycling, I don't remember). There were all kinds of bicycles and plenty of representation by Caloi (Brazil's national brand, for those who don't know), but no Garota.
It is interesting that it has a mix of French components, with a distinctive tube fork crown a la Raleigh Sport and some Coppi-branded bikes, and it has a Portuguese saddle. I don't recognize some of the components. Here is the link to photographs of the Garota:
Any info will be appreciated.